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Criminal Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Criminal Law

Guyora Binder


Many controversies in American criminal law reflect the tension between older and newer conceptions of the purposes of punishment. The English common law of crimes enforced a royal peace by conditioning punishment on unauthorized force and harm to particular victims. The story of American criminal law has been the emergence of a more utilitarian conception of criminal offending as the imposition of risk or the violation of consent, combined with culpability. This utilitarianism is reflected in the Model Penal Code and many state codes. Yet understanding contemporary criminal law requires that ... More

Keywords: criminal law, utilitarianism, retribution, common law, Model Penal Code, culpability, risk, sovereignty

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780195321203
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321203.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Guyora Binder, author
Distinguished Professor; Hodgson Russ Faculty Scholar; Vice Dean for Research and Faculty Development, State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo Law School