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February 14, 2011

"Deadly Dilemmas III: Some Kind Words for Preventive Detention"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper from Professors Larry Laudan and Ronald Allen, which is now posted on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This paper explores the role of assessments of dangerousness in the criminal law, arguing that they are ubiquitous not only in setting sentences and guiding bail and parole decisions but, far more importantly, in determining which activities are criminalized and which are not.  While many theorists of the criminal law continue to assert that prospective judgments of dangerousness have no legitimate role in the criminal law (since persons are to be punished supposedly only retrospectively for harms already committed), we argue that it is entirely appropriate to punish people for harms that they are likely to commit, provided that pertinent due process demands are satisfied.  More generally, we deny both the existence and the desirability of a sharp distinction between the aims of criminal law and the aims of other forms of legal control and regulation.

February 14, 2011 at 01:48 PM | Permalink

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Comments

hmm i hope whoever wrote this statement has their bags packed because they need to get the hell out of ths country since they don't belong here!

"we argue that it is entirely appropriate to punish people for harms that they are likely to commit"

They need to be living in old nazi germany or present day russia or china or most any country in africa and parts of south america.

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 14, 2011 3:41:00 PM

Well, Rod, we're on the same side for once. I'm not ready to boot the professors out of the country, but I do find their position repugnant.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Feb 14, 2011 4:45:19 PM

I agree with Rodsmith 100% !!

Posted by: Laihdutusvalmisteet | Feb 14, 2011 4:57:18 PM

Kent:

I'm with you on this one. However, repugnance of certain opinions does not seem lately to protect individual liberties. I will say that I have not read the articla but intend to.

Back in the 1950's, most rapists read Playboy. Therefore, anyone who read Playboy was a potential rapist and needed to be confined based on future dangerousness.

Why are we so stupid?

Posted by: albeed | Feb 14, 2011 4:57:49 PM

If a person has committed a crime and that person has a significant probability of committing another crime, what's the matter with with protecting the public?

Posted by: Tom McGee | Feb 14, 2011 5:40:58 PM

The criminal justice system is already doing this. In fact, protecting the public from future crimes of the defendant is one of the statutory sentencing factors in federal sentencing. 18 USC 3553(a)(2)(c).


Posted by: KRG def attny | Feb 14, 2011 6:37:59 PM

Tom McGee:

Were you born stupid and dumb or do you have to work at it?

If a person has committed a crime (a very imperfect, and often corrupt justice system) and that person has a significant probability of committing another crime (says who?), what's the matter with protecting the public?

Can you spell Constitution without a Thesaurus. As SC would say, your a nazi feminist lawyer who thinks with her womb.

Please reply to this post as you are dumber than dirt.

Sieg Heil!

Posted by: albeed | Feb 14, 2011 10:55:20 PM

KRG def attny:

Well, without a doubt, 18 USC 3553(a)(2)(c) is the most brilliant piece of legislation ever written. In favor of ASUSA's, we know who will commit future crimes with absolute (I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn) certainty.

You must be a public provided attorney as I would definitely NOT hire you.

(PS: Just between you and me, The Federal Sentencing Guideline have MAJOR problems.)

Posted by: albeed | Feb 14, 2011 11:13:07 PM

LOL

" I'm not ready to boot the professors out of the country,"


Well kent i wouldn't be either IF he was talking as a private citizen. he has the right to whatever opinion he wants...however stupid or illegal...BUT here hes doing a research study and using his position as a profession to push it. Sorry at that point he becomes a traitor to the ideals this country was founded on...then it becomes a case of YOU DONT' LIKE IT HERE...LEAVE!

Posted by: rodsmith | Feb 16, 2011 1:40:15 PM

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