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Proportionality And Federalization, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2005

Proportionality And Federalization, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

The thesis of this Article is that proportionality of punishment has become a casualty of federalization and that the federal courts helped kill it. The federal courts like to portray themselves as the victims in the vicious cycle of federalization, left defenseless in the face of rapacious efforts by Congress and the Department of Justice to use the federal criminal code for their own selfish ends. The federal judiciary repeatedly complains that its judges are overburdened with criminal cases that belong in state court. This is the story the leading lights in the academy have accepted: Congress is responsible for …


Felony Murder And Mens Rea Default Rules: A Study In Statutory Interpretation, Guyora Binder Jan 2000

Felony Murder And Mens Rea Default Rules: A Study In Statutory Interpretation, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

The Model Penal Code's influential approach to culpability included default rules assigning a culpable mental state to every conduct, circumstance and result element of each offense. Such rules have been enacted in half of the American states. The Code's drafters also rejected what they understood to be the felony murder rule's imposition of "a form of strict liability for... homicide." Yet almost every state has retained some form of the felony murder rule and so repudiated the Model Penal Code's proposed reform. Because the Model Penal Code's disapproval of felony murder flows from its general disapproval of strict liability, the …