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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 ...


Righting Victim Wrongs: Responding To Philosophical Criticisms Of The Nonspecific Victim Liability Defense, Aya Gruber Jan 2004

Righting Victim Wrongs: Responding To Philosophical Criticisms Of The Nonspecific Victim Liability Defense, Aya Gruber

Articles

Modern criminal law is intensely one-sided in its treatment of victims and defendants. Crime victims and criminal defendants do not enter the trial process on an equal moral footing. Rather, from the beginning victims are assumed blameless, truthful, and even beyond doubt, while defendants are guilty, not worthy of credence, and immoral. This one-sided view of victims, however, is a fiction. As any other people, victims differ in their characterizations. Some are indeed trustworthy, truthful, blameless and ultimately innocent. Others, however, are bad actors themselves, have memory failures, falsely identify, provoke, and even lie. Some victims are in fact, and ...


Excuses And Dispositions In Criminal Law, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2002

Excuses And Dispositions In Criminal Law, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Positivism And The Notion Of An Offense, Claire Oakes Finkelstein Jan 2000

Positivism And The Notion Of An Offense, Claire Oakes Finkelstein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

While the United States Supreme Court has developed an elaborate constitutional jurisprudence of criminal procedure, it has articulated few constitutional doctrines of the substantive criminal law. The asymmetry between substance and procedure seems natural given the demise of Lochner and the minimalist stance towards due process outside the area of fundamental rights. This Article, however, argues that the "positivistic" approach to defining criminal offenses stands in some tension with other basic principles, both constitutional and moral. In particular, two important constitutional guarantees depend on the notion of an offense: the presumption of innocence and the ban on double jeopardy. Under ...