October 29, 2004
Congress and Criminal Defendants
Craig Lerner of George Mason has an interesting article coming out in the Illinois Law Review:
Legislators as the 'American Criminal Class': Why Congress (Sometimes) Protects the Rights of Defendants
A piece of the abstract: "It is an axiom of faith among criminal procedure scholars that legislatures are hostile to criminal defendants. Many have gestured towards an alleged "legislative default" in criminal procedure to support judicial activism to ensure fairness in the criminal process. This article, taking its cue from Mark Twain's insight that Congress is our "distinctly native American criminal class," questions the prevailing wisdom and argues that legislatures are sometimes sympathetic to criminal defendants. Over the centuries, legislators have been menaced by criminal prosecution, and this prospect has, on significant occasions, shaped the development of Anglo-American criminal procedure."
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