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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Law and Society

Criminology

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Contractarian Argument Against The Death Penalty, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Oct 2006

A Contractarian Argument Against The Death Penalty, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Opponents of the death penalty typically base their opposition on contingent features of its administration, arguing that the death penalty is applied discriminatory, that the innocent are sometimes executed, or that there is insufficient evidence of the death penalty’s deterrent efficacy. Implicit in these arguments is the suggestion that if these contingencies did not obtain, serious moral objections to the death penalty would be misplaced. In this Article, Professor Finkelstein argues that there are grounds for opposing the death penalty even in the absence of such contingent factors. She proceeds by arguing that neither of the two prevailing theories ...


Responsibility For Unintended Consequences, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2005

Responsibility For Unintended Consequences, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The appropriateness of imposing criminal liability for negligent conduct has been the subject of debate among criminal law scholars for many years. Ever since H.L.A. Hart’s defense of criminal negligence, the prevailing view has favored its use. In this essay, I nevertheless argue against criminal negligence, on the ground that criminal liability should only be imposed where the defendant was aware he was engaging in the prohibited conduct, or where he was aware of risking such conduct or result. My argument relies on the claim that criminal liability should resemble judgments of responsibility in ordinary morality as ...