Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Larry Laudan and Ronald J. Allen (pictured)(Instituto de Investigaciones Filosoficas, UNAM and Northwestern University Law School) have posted Deadly Dilemmas III: Some Kind Words for Preventive Detention on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This paper explores the role of assessments of dangerousness in the criminal law, arguing that they are ubiquitous not only in setting sentences and guiding bail and parole decisions but, far more importantly, in determining which activities are criminalized and which are not. While many theorists of the criminal law continue to assert that prospective judgments of dangerousness have no legitimate role in the criminal law (since persons are to be punished supposedly only retrospectively for harms already committed), we argue that it is entirely appropriate to punish people for harms that they are likely to commit, provided that pertinent due process demands are satisfied. More generally, we deny both the existence and the desirability of a sharp distinction between the aims of criminal law and the aims of other forms of legal control and regulation.