Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Hofstra Law Review

Publication Date

2000

Page Number

601

Disciplines

Law

Abstract

This is a review of JUSTICE, LIABILITY AND BLAME, by Paul Robinson and John Darley. The book is a summary of 18 studies which surveyed lay subjects about their attitudes toward various aspects of criminal law doctrine, including the act requirement for attempt, omission liability, accomplice liability, the felony-murder role, and the intoxication and insanity defenses. In virtually every study, the authors found that the subjects disagreed with the Model Penal Code's position, the common law's position, or both. The authors contend that results of surveys such as theirs should play a significant role in designing criminal doctrine, both because lay opinion can inform the normative judgments inherent therein and because gaps between the law and the public's views can exacerbate noncompliance with the law. This review argues that neither reason supports giving significant weight to such surveys. It also quibbles with minor aspects of the authors' methodology. The overall conclusion, however, is that the book "generates numerous interesting hypotheses for criminal theoreticians" and "teaches useful lessons to all those who would do social science in the service of the law."

Included in

Law Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.