Sex, Drugs, Death, and the Law: An Essay on Human Rights and Overcriminalization

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1986 - Law - 316 pages
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Among the most commonly argued legal questions are those involving "victimless" crimes consensual adult sexual relations (including homosexuality and prostitution), the use of drugs, and the right to die. How can they be distinguished from proper crimes, and how can we, as citizens, judge the complex moral and legal issues that such questions entail? David Richards, a teacher of law in the areas of constitutional and criminal law, and a moral and legal philosopher concerned with the investigation of legal concepts, applies an interdisciplinary approach to the question of overcriminalization, he draws on legal and philosophical arguments and links the subject to history, psychology, social science, and literature. To demonstrate how gross and unjust overcriminalization has developed, Professor Richards explores basic assumptions that often underlie the common American sense of proper criminalization."
 

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Contents

Human Rights and Public Morality under Constitutional Democracy
1
I The Utilitarian Critique of Overcriminalization
2
II Human Rights and the Moral Foundations of the Criminal Law
7
Notes
20
SEX
27
Consensual Homosexuality and the Constitutional Right to Privacy
29
I The Concept of Human Rights as an Unwritten Constitution
30
II A Moral Theory of the Constitutional Right to Privacy
33
III The Morality of Drug Use and the Rights of the Person
168
IV Drug Use and Constitutional Privacy
185
V Beyond Decriminalization
189
Against Prohibition
193
Notes
195
DEATH AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
213
Constitutional Privacy the Right to Die and the Meaning of Life
215
I The Morality of Decisions to Die and the Rights of the Person
217

The Judicial Methodology of the Constitutional Right to Privacy
61
Notes
63
Commercial Sex and the Rights of the Person
84
Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
87
II The Arguments for the Criminalization of Prostitution
91
III The Morality of Prostitution and the Rights of the Person
96
IV Commercial Sex Human Rights and Moral Ideals
116
V Beyond Decriminalization
121
VI Conclusion
125
Notes
127
DRUGS
155
Drug Use and the Rights of the Person
157
Anthropological Historical and Pharmacological Perspectives
158
II The Arguments for the Criminalization of Drug Use
165
II Constitutional Privacy and the Right to Die
245
III The Right to Die and the Meaning of Life
247
IV The Limits of Constitutional Privacy in Effectuating the Right to Die
251
Notes
254
Concluding Perspectives
271
I Human Nature and the Meaning of Life
273
II A Natural Objection
275
III In Conclusion
277
Bibliography
279
Table of Cases
304
Table of Statutes
307
Index
309
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