Overcriminalization the Limits of the Criminal Law

Overview

The United States today suffers from too much criminal law and too much punishment. Husak describes the phenomena in some detail and explores their relation, and why these trends produce massive injustice. His primary goal is to defend a set of constraints that limit the authority of states to enact and enforce penal offenses. The book urges the weight and relevance of this topic in the real world, and notes that most Anglo-American legal philosophers have neglected it. Husak's secondary goal is to situate this ...

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Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law

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Overview

The United States today suffers from too much criminal law and too much punishment. Husak describes the phenomena in some detail and explores their relation, and why these trends produce massive injustice. His primary goal is to defend a set of constraints that limit the authority of states to enact and enforce penal offenses. The book urges the weight and relevance of this topic in the real world, and notes that most Anglo-American legal philosophers have neglected it. Husak's secondary goal is to situate this endeavor in criminal theory as traditionally construed. He argues that many of the resources to reduce the size and scope of the criminal law can be derived from within the criminal law itself-even though these resources have not been used explicitly for this purpose. Additional constraints emerge from a political view about the conditions under which important rights such as the right implicated by punishment-may be infringed. When conjoined, these constraints produce what Husak calls a minimalist theory of criminal liability. Husak applies these constraints to a handful of examples-most notably, to the justifiability of drug proscriptions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195399011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/30/2009
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Husak is Professor of Philosophy and Law at Rutgers University.

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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements

Chapter One: The Amount of Criminal Law

I: Too Much Punishment, Too Many Crimes II: How More Crimes Produce Injustice III: The Content of New Offenses IV: An Illustration of Overcriminalization

Chapter Two: Internal Constraints on Criminalization

I: The General Part of Criminal Law II: From Punishment to Criminalization III: A Right Not to Be Punished?
IV: Malum Prohibitum

Chapter Three: External Constraints on Criminalization

I: Infringing the Right Not to Be Punished II: The Devil in the Details III: Crimes of Risk-Creation

Chapter Four: Alternative Theories of Criminalization

I: Law and Economics II: Utilitarianism III: Legal Moralism
Preface
Acknowledgements
Chapter One: The Amount of Criminal Law
I c Too Much Punishment, Too Many Crimes.
II. How More Crimes Produce Injustice III. The Content of New Offenses IV. An Illustration of Overcriminalization
Chapter Two: Internal Constraints on Criminalization
I. The General Part of Criminal Law II. From Punishment to Criminalization III. A Right Not to Be Punished?
IV. Malum Prohibitum
Chapter Three: External Constraints on Criminalization
I. Infringing the Right Not to be Punished II. The Devil in the Details III. Crimes of Risk-Creation
Chapter Four: Alternative Theories of Criminalization
I. Law and Economics II. Utilitarianism III. Legal Moralism

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