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p. 685. Criminal lawlocked

  • G. Edward White


Crime and the treatment of criminals have been pervasive themes of American legal history. ‘Criminal law’ shows that in contrast to the early conceptions of crime and punishment as largely private activities, diagnosing and responding to crime has become a distinctly public activity, as susceptible to changing public attitudes as other sectors of American political life. Americans have been responsive to the idea that individual citizens have rights not to be subjected to arbitrary criminal process by the state; but also they have rarely been opposed to the prospect of criminals being locked up for a long time. Balancing those attitudes has not been easy, and at present the balance seems tipped toward incarceration.

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