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Would You Convict? : Seventeen Cases That Challenged the Law - Paul H. Robinson

Would You Convict?

Seventeen Cases That Challenged the Law

Hardcover Published: 1st September 1999
ISBN: 9780814775301
Number Of Pages: 329

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A police trooper inspects a car during a routine traffic stop and finds a vast cache of weapons, complete with automatic rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and black ski masks-a veritable bank robber's kit. Should the men in the car be charged? If so, with what?

A son neglects to care for his elderly mother, whose emaciated form is discovered shortly before she dies a painful death. Is the son's neglect punishable, and if so how?

A career con man writes one bad check too many and is sentenced to life in prison-for a check in the amount of $129.75. Is this just?

A thief steals a backpack, only to find it contains a terrorist bomb. He alerts the police and saves lives, transforming himself from petty criminal to national hero.

These are just a few of the many provocative cases that Paul Robinson presents and unravels in Would You Convict?

Judging crimes and meting out punishment has long been an informal national pasttime. High-profile crimes or particularly brutal ones invariably prompt endless debate, in newspapers, on television, in coffee shops, and on front porches. Our very nature inclines us to be armchair judges, freely waving our metaphorical gavels and opining as to the innocence or guilt-and suitable punishment-of alleged criminals.

Confronting this impulse, Paul Robinson here presents a series of unusual episodes that not only challenged the law, but that defy a facile or knee-jerk verdict. Narrating the facts in compelling, but detached detail, Robinson invites readers to sentence the transgressor (or not), before revealing the final outcome of the case.

The cases described in Would You Convict? engage, shock, even repel. Without a doubt, they will challenge you and your belief system. And the way in which juries and judges have resolved them will almost certainly surprise you.

"A thought-provoking book on how accurately criminal law and its application reflect our sense of justice...an excellent text." --Barry N. Sweet, The Law and Politics Book Review

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologuep. 1
Punishing Intent, Harm, or Dangerousness?p. 3
Are Evil Intentions a Crime?p. 3
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 8
The Law's Rulesp. 9
Backgroundp. 9
The Aftermathp. 11
Attempt versus the Complete Offense: The Significance of Resulting Harmp. 19
Can Father and Daughter Kill the Same Man Twice?p. 20
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 21
More Factsp. 22
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 23
The Law's Rulesp. 25
The Aftermathp. 25
Murder versus Attempted Murder: The Significance of Resulting Harmp. 27
The Final Outcomep. 28
The Requirements of Criminal Liabilityp. 28
Life Imprisonment for Air Conditioning Fraud?p. 28
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 31
Trial and Sentencep. 32
Punishing Dangerousness: Cloaking Preventive Detention as Criminal Justicep. 32
The Appealp. 37
The Cost of Undercutting the Criminal Law's Moral Credibilityp. 37
The Final Outcomep. 40
Segregating Preventive Detention from Criminal Justicep. 41
Knowing the Law's Commandsp. 44
The Congenial Cadaverp. 44
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 50
The Legality Principle and Its Rationalesp. 50
The Aftermathp. 52
Todayp. 53
When Can an Officer Carry a Gun?p. 54
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 56
The Lawp. 57
At Trialp. 73
At Trial Again: Ignorance or Mistake of Law Is No Excusep. 74
Acquitting the Bakers but Convicting the Marreros?p. 74
Communicating the Criminal Law's Commandsp. 76
The Outcomep. 76
Legality in Omission Offensesp. 78
Neglecting Mom ... to Deathp. 78
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 81
The Chargep. 81
The Law's Reluctance to Impose Dutiesp. 82
The Outcomep. 83
Todayp. 84
Striking the Proper Balance between Legality and Justicep. 84
Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers?p. 85
The Lawp. 87
Ignorance of Law an Excuse?p. 88
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 89
The Aftermathp. 90
The Problem of Discretionp. 90
Same Facts, Different Perspectivep. 91
The Virtues of Legalityp. 95
Finishing the Storyp. 96
Can Committing a Crime Be Doing the Right Thing?p. 97
Escaping the Prisonersp. 97
The Law's Rulesp. 103
The Trial and Sentencep. 104
The Defense's Problemsp. 105
On Appealp. 106
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 107
The Green Case under the Criminal Law of Other Statesp. 107
The Final Outcomep. 109
Killing for Applesp. 110
The Law's Rulep. 113
The Trial and Appealp. 114
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 115
Another Look at Ignorance of the Lawp. 116
The Right Deed for the Wrong Reasonp. 123
Disagreement in the Lawp. 125
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 127
The Outcomep. 127
A Terrorist's Right to Resist the Thief?p. 129
Todayp. 130
Can Doing the Wrong Thing Ever Be Blameless?p. 132
Loving, Killing Parentsp. 132
At Trialp. 137
The Law's Challengep. 138
The Outcomep. 140
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 140
Adjudicating Blameworthiness versus Announcing Rules of Conductp. 141
The Sentencep. 142
Killing a Sleeping Abuserp. 142
The Law's Challenge, Againp. 147
The Aftermathp. 148
Battered Spouse Syndromep. 149
The Trialp. 150
The Matters Relevant to Justicep. 150
The Appealp. 151
The All-or-Nothing Disagreementp. 152
On Remandp. 153
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 153
The Law's Unmet Challengep. 154
The Pedophile Withinp. 155
The Law's Rulesp. 159
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 162
The Trialp. 162
On Appealp. 163
The American Viewp. 164
Todayp. 166
Picking Clean Drunksp. 166
The Law's Rulesp. 170
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 171
Legal Conflict over the Reno Decoy Operationp. 171
The Peculiar Entrapment Defensep. 173
The Outcomep. 174
Legal Disagreements over Entrapmentp. 175
The Aftermathp. 176
Who Will Explain to Kingston Why Hawkins Gets Off but He Goes to Jail?p. 176
Martyrs for Our Safetyp. 178
A Farm Boy's Treason?p. 179
The Power of Coercive Indoctrinationp. 181
Richard's Returnp. 183
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 185
The Law's Rulesp. 186
Finishing the Storyp. 189
Of Hippies and Bread Trucks: The Abused Learns to Abusep. 191
Alex Cabarga and Richard Tennesonp. 196
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 198
The Trial and Sentencep. 199
The Problem of Discretionp. 199
Desert versus Dangerousnessp. 201
Todayp. 204
Growing Up Gang: The Short, Violent Life of Robert Sandiferp. 206
People's Intuitions of Justicep. 209
Robert Sandifer and Alex Cabargap. 210
The Aftermathp. 213
Desert versus Dangerousness, Againp. 215
Epiloguep. 217
Governing Law, Then and Nowp. 219
Indexp. 321
About the Authorp. 328
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814775301
ISBN-10: 0814775306
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 329
Published: 1st September 1999
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.57