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Two Modes Of Legal Thought Symposium On Legal Scholarship: Its Nature And Purposes, George P. Fletcher Jan 1981

Two Modes Of Legal Thought Symposium On Legal Scholarship: Its Nature And Purposes, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

We should begin with a confession of ignorance. We have no jurisprudence of legal scholarship. Scholars expatiate at length on the work of other actors in the legal culture – legislators, judges, prosecutors, and even practicing lawyers. Yet we reflect little about what we are doing when we write about the law. We have a journal about the craft of teaching, but none about the craft of scholarship.

In view of our ignorance, we should pay particular heed to our point of departure. I start with the observation that legal scholarship expresses itself in a variety of verbal forms. Descriptive propositions ...


"No Soul To Damn: No Body To Kick": An Unscandalized Inquiry Into The Problem Of Corporate Punishment, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1981

"No Soul To Damn: No Body To Kick": An Unscandalized Inquiry Into The Problem Of Corporate Punishment, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and no body to be kicked?
Edward, First Baron Thurlow 1731-1806

The Lord Chancellor of England quoted above was neither the first nor the last judge to experience frustration when faced with a convicted corporation. American sentencing judges are likely to face a similar dilemma with increasing frequency in the near future, for a number of signs indicate that corporate prosecutions will become increasingly commonplace. At first glance, the problem of corporate punishment seems perversely insoluble: moderate fines do not deter, while ...


Authority And Consent, Joseph Raz Jan 1981

Authority And Consent, Joseph Raz

Faculty Scholarship

My starting point is the assumption that there is no general obligation to obey the law, not even a prima facie obligation and not even in a just society. This assumption is perhaps becoming more popular. In recent years it has been defended by several writers. There is more that needs to be said in its support, but I will not attempt to do so here. Instead, I will reflect on a problem posed by accepting it, a problem concerning the relations between an individual citizen and the state. It is common to think that the state has authority over ...


Manifest Criminality, Criminal Intent, And The Metamorphosis Of Lloyd Weinreb, George P. Fletcher Jan 1980

Manifest Criminality, Criminal Intent, And The Metamorphosis Of Lloyd Weinreb, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

My colleague has had a revelation. Professor Lloyd Weinreb's views about larceny have undergone a striking transformation in the last six months. As recently as May 1980, when he completed the preface to the third edition of his criminal law casebook, he held one set of views about The Carrier's Case and The King v. Pear. In the article published in this issue, he advances a different set of views about the two cases he regards as so important. He gives us no hint about how or why he underwent his change of heart. His transformation warrants our ...


"Twisting Slowly In The Wind": A Search For Constitutional Limits On Coercion Of The Criminal Defendant, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1980

"Twisting Slowly In The Wind": A Search For Constitutional Limits On Coercion Of The Criminal Defendant, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In the corridor outside Courtroom Four, Foster Clark approached the prosecutor. "I was wondering," he said, "are we really going to have to try this case?"

"Well," the prosecutor said, "that depends. He's dead on and gone to heaven, if that's what you mean. He doesn't have a prayer."

"I was wondering if we could work something out," Clark said. "I haven't really had a chance to talk with him, but I was wondering."

"So talk to him," the prosecutor said. "Find out where he stands, and call me."

* * *

"Look," the prosecutor said, "you know I ...


Rebuttal: The Individual Or The Firm? Focusing The Threat Of Criminal Liability, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1980

Rebuttal: The Individual Or The Firm? Focusing The Threat Of Criminal Liability, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

I cannot disagree with much of what Mr. Crane has said in his very articulate presentation. One must be careful about trying to prove too much. I have not argued against individual criminal liability, but I do not believe we can rely on it exclusively. Let me therefore confine my reply to this question and to Mr. Crane's criticisms of my equity fine proposal.


Making The Punishment Fit The Corporation: The Problem Of Finding An Optimal Corporation Criminal Sanction, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1980

Making The Punishment Fit The Corporation: The Problem Of Finding An Optimal Corporation Criminal Sanction, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

To be "present at the creation," in Dean Acheson's felicitous phrase, is always an honor. In addition, to be present at the commencement of what I expect will be a sustained and fruitful tradition at this law school, namely, the Governor Thompson Lectureship, is a second honor. Finally, let me express my thanks to Dean Bainbridge for a third honor: the compliment implicit in the 2 to 1 odds he has arranged today. Both Norval Morris and Mark Crane are men with distinguished careers in quite different fields of the law. If I am confident of one thing today ...


Should Intolerable Prison Conditions Generate A Justification Or An Excuse For Escape?, George P. Fletcher Jan 1979

Should Intolerable Prison Conditions Generate A Justification Or An Excuse For Escape?, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

In the last five years, appellate courts have responded sympathetically to the claims of prisoners who have escaped to avoid the threat of physical violence and homosexual rape. Lovercamp began the trend in 1974. Today the reports are replete with reversals directing trial courts to hear evidence bearing on the conditions that prompted the escape.

The courts have moved so quickly into this new field that they have had little chance to refine the underlying rationale for admitting the evidence. Appellate opinions, as well as several commentators, have sought to squeeze the new issue into one of three received doctrinal ...


The Repressed Issues Of Sentencing: Accountability, Predictability, And Equality In The Era Of The Sentencing Commission, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1978

The Repressed Issues Of Sentencing: Accountability, Predictability, And Equality In The Era Of The Sentencing Commission, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The existence of disparities in the sentences imposed on equally culpable offenders has long been a subject of jurisprudential concern. The author provides a critique of recent efforts to objectify the sentencing process that rely on a matrix table prescribing guideline sentence lengths on the basis of offense severity and predictions of recidivism. With particular emphasis on the Sentencing Commission authorized by pending federal legislation, he urges the need for political accountability in the body that inevitably makes value judgments in the preparation and administration of such a guideline system. Finally, the author discusses the normative issues that surround the ...


Beyond The Shut-Eyed Sentry: Toward A Theoretical View Of Corporate Misconduct And An Effective Legal Response, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1977

Beyond The Shut-Eyed Sentry: Toward A Theoretical View Of Corporate Misconduct And An Effective Legal Response, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Like hard cases, festering scandals make bad law. As public perceptions shift so that conduct once tolerated becomes seen as illicit, political pressures develop that can result in hastily improvised responses by the legal system to fill the newly perceived vacuum. This generalization is advanced to question neither the inalienable right of the public to be scandalized, nor the need for corporate reform, but to approach a highly problematic dilemma: hurried, moralistic responses to a perceived evil often prove not only ineffective, but even counterproductive. The serious student of complex organizations may recognize this assertion as a slightly altered variant ...


The Metamorphosis Of Larceny, George P. Fletcher Jan 1976

The Metamorphosis Of Larceny, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

To the modern lawyer, the rules of common law theft offenses do not seem ordered by any coherent principle. In this Article, however, Professor Fletcher shows that the common law of larceny can be understood in terms of two structural principles, possessorial immunity and manifest criminality. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as the modern style of legal thought evolved, first commentators and then courts lost their ability to understand these principles and came to rely on intent as the central element of criminal liability. As a result of this transformation, Professor Fletcher argues, the range of circumstances that can ...


The Future Of Sentencing Reform: Emerging Legal Issues In The Individualization Of Justice, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1975

The Future Of Sentencing Reform: Emerging Legal Issues In The Individualization Of Justice, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The dilemma of the American sentencing judge is qualitatively unique. Because our system of criminal justice has embraced to a degree unequaled elsewhere the rehabilitative ideal that punishment should fit not the crime, but the particular criminal, the sentencing judge must labor to fulfill the dual and sometimes conflicting roles of judge and clinician. Entrusted with enormous discretion, he is expected to "individualize" the sentence he imposes to suit the character, social history, and potential for recidivism of the offender before him. Yet, because of the general absence in our Sentencing Reform system of meaningful procedures for the appellate review ...


The Right Deed For The Wrong Reason: A Reply To Mr. Robinson, George P. Fletcher Jan 1975

The Right Deed For The Wrong Reason: A Reply To Mr. Robinson, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

So far as there is a school of criminal theory in the United States, it is a school devoted to sifting and celebrating the purposes of the criminal law. Discussions in the literature are dominated by endless recitals of the deterrent, rehabilitative and retributive functions of criminal sanctions. The orthodox view is that all of these purposes are relevant and that any proposed rule of criminal law must be measured by its tendency to further one or all of these goals. If the issue is punishing negligence, for example, the standard mode of analysis is to ask whether punishing negligent ...


The Individualization Of Excusing Conditions, George P. Fletcher Jan 1974

The Individualization Of Excusing Conditions, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The excusing conditions of the criminal law are variations of the theme "I couldn't help myself' or "I didn't mean to do it." In this respect the defenses known as necessity, duress, insanity and mistake of law are but extensions of homely, routine apologies for causing harm and violating the rules of social and family life. While we use the plea "I couldn't help myself" to cover the full range of excusing circumstances, each of the formal excuses of the criminal law has a limited sphere. As a general matter, these spheres are dictated by the type ...


Decision Trees, Peter L. Strauss, Michael R. Topping Jan 1970

Decision Trees, Peter L. Strauss, Michael R. Topping

Faculty Scholarship

The object of this paper is to inform those concerned with the administration of justice in Ethiopia – particularly, criminal justice – about a new and simple procedure which may assist in procuring uniform interpretation and application of laws and regulations. The problem of uniform interpretation and application is particularly severe where, as in Ethiopia, new laws must be interpreted and applied by persons who have not yet had the opportunity of formal legal education. For these persons the discovery of the relevant code articles and the understanding of their interrelationships and application must be very difficult indeed. One possible result of ...


On Interpreting The Ethiopian Penal Code, Peter L. Strauss Jan 1968

On Interpreting The Ethiopian Penal Code, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The aim of this article is to set out and discuss some general principles of interpreting the Ethiopian Penal Code – that is to say, of using it. Even now, ten years after it came into effect, many people have difficulty in understanding and using the Penal Code in a straightforward way. It seems complex, and many of its fundamental conceptions are unfamiliar to Ethiopian lawyers. This article, discussing at length how the code is built, may help reduce its apparent complexity and thus facilitate its day-to-day application.


Two Kinds Of Legal Rules: A Comparative Study Of Burden-Of-Persuasion Practices In Criminal Cases, George P. Fletcher Jan 1968

Two Kinds Of Legal Rules: A Comparative Study Of Burden-Of-Persuasion Practices In Criminal Cases, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

Good men everywhere praise the presumption of innocence. And be they Frenchmen, Germans, or Americans, they agree on the demand of the presumption in practice. Both here and abroad, the state's invocation of criminal sanctions demands a high degree of proof that the accused has committed the offense charged. To express the requisite standard of proof, common lawyers speak of the prosecutor's duty to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. And Continental lawyers invoke the maxim in dubio pro reo – a precept requiring triers of fact to acquit in cases of doubt.

The French speak of the ...


The Presumption Of Innocence In The Soviet Union, George P. Fletcher Jan 1968

The Presumption Of Innocence In The Soviet Union, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The presumption of innocence is a curious item in the baggage of Western legal rhetoric. Revered today here and abroad, it has become a standard clause in international testimonials to the rights of man. Yet, at first blush, it seems conceptually anomalous and irrelevant in practice. It is hardly a presumption of fact – a distillation of common experience; statistics betray the suggestion that men indicted on criminal charges are likely to be innocent. Nor is it a legal rule masquerading as an irrebuttable presumption; it is rebuttable by proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt. Further, it ...


Compensation For Victims Of Violent Crimes: An Analysis, Robert E. Scott Jan 1967

Compensation For Victims Of Violent Crimes: An Analysis, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Spurred by the implementation of plans in Great Britain, New Zealand, and California; and by various other federal and state proposals, the concept of state compensation to victims of violent crimes has recently become the subject of wide public interest and intensive legal debate. In essence, the concept envisages some scheme by which the victims of crimes of violence can be compensated for any losses resulting from their criminally inflicted injuries.

Before any proposals based on this conception are adopted they should be shown to have a valid theoretical framework, supported by sound legal principles, with an effective and efficient ...


Criminal Law And Procedure, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 1966

Criminal Law And Procedure, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

§12.1 Introduction. The recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the area of criminal procedure have begun to have a considerable impact upon litigation in the Massachusetts courts; indeed, for at least the second successive year the major emphasis of the Supreme Judicial Court's criminal law opinions centered upon considerations of "criminal due process." On the whole, the Court demonstrated an admirable concern for protecting the requirements of a fair trial. However, in at least two significant areas its decisions are open to considerable question: (1) in a series of opinions the Court confined the admittedly ...


Gideon's Army: Student Soldiers, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 1965

Gideon's Army: Student Soldiers, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Ours is a nation that takes great pride in the manner in which it administers justice to its citizens. To us, "equal justice under law" is not simply hollow rhetoric; it gives expression to some of our most fundamental values, and it proclaims that every man should be treated fairly and equally in the administration of the laws. It is, of course, of no small moment that we hold such an ideal, for a nation invites judgment on how well its performance comports with its professions of faith.

In the administration of our laws there is much to which we ...


Delay And The Dynamics Of Personal Injury Litigation, Maurice Rosenberg, Michael I. Sovern Jan 1959

Delay And The Dynamics Of Personal Injury Litigation, Maurice Rosenberg, Michael I. Sovern

Faculty Scholarship

Delayed justice is one of man's stubborn maladies. Just as stubborn is' man himself, and this has led him to persist in prescribing for the delay affliction instead of trying to understand it. Today there are still those who believe that solution can precede understanding and that what this country needs is a good five-cent "cure" for delay. Happily, others have recognized the need to put first things first. All through the country more and more groups are at work methodically getting the facts that are essential to understanding what is wrong and what is needed. The Columbia University ...