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August 22, 2015

"Guns and Drugs"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper by Benjamin Levin now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Article argues that the increasingly prevalent critiques of the War on Drugs apply to other areas of criminal law.  To highlight the broader relevance of these critiques, the Article uses as its test case the criminal regulation of gun possession.

The Article identifies and distills three lines of drug-war criticism, and argues that they apply to possessory gun crimes in much the same way that they apply to drug crimes. Specifically, the Article focuses on: (1) race- and class-based critiques; (2) concerns about police and prosecutorial power; and (3) worries about the social costs of mass incarceration.  Scholars have identified structural flaws in policing, prosecuting, and sentencing in the drug context; in the Article, I highlight the ways that the same issues persist in an area — possessory gun crime — that receives much less criticism.

Appreciating the broader applicability of the drug war’s critiques, I contend, should lead to an examination of the flaws in the criminal justice system that lessen its capacity for solving social problems.

August 22, 2015 at 10:16 AM | Permalink


Asking prisons to solve social problems is like asking that insulin address brain tumors, not just diabetes. Not fair. Not designed for that. Never going to work.

Prisons are to address crime. Period.

You got social problems? Take them up with the vile feminist lawyer and its male running dogs. They destroyed the black family and made them become ultra-violent predators. They are the ones going after the white family besieging it from all sides, degrading it, demeaning it, empowering children to just ignore it. Why? To generate a bunch of lousy government make work jobs, with government as a wholly owned subsidiary of the lawyer profession.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 22, 2015 12:50:37 PM

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