Judging Evil: Rethinking the Law of Murder and Manslaughter

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NYU Press, 2000 - Law - 272 pages
Why do killers deserve punishment? How should the law decide? These are the questions Samuel H. Pillsbury seeks to answer in this important new book on the theory and practice of criminal responsibility. In an argument both traditional and fresh, Pillsbury holds that persons deserve punishment according to the evil they choose to do, regardless of their psychological capacities. After considering potential objections to this approach, including those based on determinism, unjust social conditions, and the alleged cruelty of retribution, he presents an extended critique of American homicide law. Using real case examples, Pillsbury offers concrete proposals for legal reform, urging that modern preoccupations with subjective aspects of wrongdoing be replaced with rules that focus more on the individual's motives.

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About the author (2000)

A former journalist and federal prosecutor, Samuel H. Pillsbury is Professor of Law and Williams Rains Fellow at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California.

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