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In the Name of Justice: Leading Experts Reexamine the Classic Article The Aims of the Criminal Law (Hardback)


Edited By Timothy Lynch

Also available in these formats Price
eBook $9.99
About the Book
America’s criminal codes are so voluminous that they now bewilder not only the average citizen but also the average lawyer. Our courthouses are so clogged that there is no longer adequate time for trials. And our penitentiaries are overflowing with prisoners. In fact, America now has the highest per capita prison population in the world. This situation has many people wondering whether the American criminal justice system has become dysfunctional.

A generation ago Harvard Law Professor Henry Hart Jr. published his classic article, “The Aims of the Criminal Law,” which set forth certain fundamental principles concerning criminal justice. In this book, leading scholars, lawyers, and judges critically examine Hart’s ideas, current legal trends, and whether the “first principles” of American criminal law are falling by the wayside.

The issues considered include:
- The proper role of the criminal sanction in a free society.
- Whether we can still condemn “criminals” when we have all (probably) violated a federal criminal law.
- Whether the criminal law can retain its moral role of condemnation when policymakers remove the requirement that a person must knowingly commit a crime to be convicted.
- Whether businesses can thrive in a world where routine accounting and data storage practices can arbitrarily be deemed felonies by federal prosecutors.
- Whether the government should compensate those who have been wrongfully prosecuted and incarcerated.

Policymakers, academics, and citizens alike will enjoy this lively discussion on the nature of crime and punishment, and how the choices we make in formulating criminal laws can impact liberty, security, and justice.


Leading experts reexamine the classic article “The Aims of the Criminal Law” by Henry M. Hart








About the Editor
Timothy Lynch is director of the Project on Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and has become a leading voice in the battle for civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. Lynch has published articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the National Law Journal, and he has appeared on PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, among other venues.
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What Others Have Said
"Timothy Lynch has done an excellent job of assembling original essays and appendices of previously published essays and speeches on the critical issues in criminal law. The book is a smorgasbord of delights—the real 'meat and potatoes' of criminal law."
—Laurie L. Levenson, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

"This 50th anniversary reexamination of Hart's influential theory of the criminal law should interest both practicing attorney and any layman stupefied by the changes in both law and society going on around us. While the book is worth its price just for making Hart's long-ago memo accessible to a new generation of readers, its focus is a collection of essays. The purpose of the reconsideration acknowledges that the theoretical underpinnings of criminal law have changed so dramatically- alarmingly, even-that some notice should be taken. Read this book. Then think about it."
—James Srodes, The American Spectator

"In this book, a group of perceptive judges, professors, and one full-time defense attorney critically examine Hart's ideas in light of current legal developments. That is what ties this excellent collection of essay's together. But each contributor writes about whatever aspects of our criminal justice currently interest him. That is all to the good...this is a thought-provoking collection of essays dealing with a variety of current issues in criminal justice. I highly recommend it."
—David B. Smith, The Champion