There is a moralistic tinge to the practice of criminal law that makes no sense. We shroud the misdeeds and allegations that land a person in criminal court in terms of choice, responsibility and just desserts. That seems to miss the point. There is a grim necessity to a good deal of what goes on...
We've survived the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The media reports no shocking new acts of terror. We've waved flags, declared both the victims of the attack and those victimized by their response to the catastrophe heros. We've stood by while those who lost so much in the wake of 9/11 shed tears....
If you cannot imagine enjoying, of even finding wise counsel, in a book recommending a return to something like polytheism, you are not alone. I have difficulty enough contending with the lingering specter of monotheism: one god, or, more precisely, the loss of any sense of one God, is heartache...
Reform of sex offender legislation will most likely not take place in the courts. Real change will come in the form legislation. Lawmakers need to be taught the consequences of the laws they pass. They need to learn these lessons from those targeted by the laws. Hence, I say every lawmakers in the...
Someone tell me: Just how did it happen that I need to defend my right to die? Death is part of life, the tail end of a bargain none of us struck. Asserting that I have a right to die is gibberish. Would that I had a right to remain alive; that would be a right worth any fight. Death is a...
I read this year's Best Crime Reporting with a guilty sort of pleasure. It was a gift, so reading it over the holidays was appropriate enough. But wasn't I taking a few weeks off? Why the appeal of crime stories in a season devoted to time away from the grind of a criminal law practice?
I was reluctant to read Charles Ogletree's book on the by now much overblown confrontation between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and James Crowley. This was a garden variety event mismanaged by both the arresting officer and the arrestee. But for the fact that Gates is well connected and famous the case...
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."
I did not find this quotation on my own. My attention was directed to it by Isaiah Berlin, one of my favorite essayists and political theorists. Berlin taught for many years at Oxford, wrote dozens of essays and...
We say that trial is a vehicle for discovery of the truth. Legal issues are left, in almost every jurisdiction, for a judge to decide; juries decide facts. But just what are facts? The answer is by no means simple.
Quentin Skinner, a Cambridge historian, should be must reading for all trial...