Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Special Project has carried out three broad purposes.First, it has synthesized and organized materials concerning drugs and criminal responsibility into a useful guide for legal practitioners and others interested in the problems of the drug dependent defendant. Second, it has identified serious analytical flaws in many of the defenses available to the criminal defendant. Finally,it has responded to these deficiencies with proposals intended to protect not only the legal rights of the drug dependent defendant but also the rights of society pertaining to criminal justice. While these societal interests include the swift imposition of criminal penalties when warranted, they should not be allowed to diminish the concomitant rights of the criminal defendant. In fact, societal rights would be better served by a reexamination and reinterpretation of several traditional legal theories concerning drugs and criminal defendants. A recognition by courts and legislatures of the existing analytical flaws should lead to the development of more equitable theories and a search for alternative forms of treatment and rehabilitation for the drug dependent defendant. Rather than hiding behind the guise of legal history and moral judgment, courts and legislatures should respond to illogical and insufficient theories that fail to deal with the drug dependent defendant in an equitable and just manner.