CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, April 12, 2010

Richman on the Demand Side of Overcriminalization

Richman daniel Daniel C. Richman (Columbia Law School) has posted The Demand Side of Overcriminalization – A Celebration of Bill Stuntz on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Bill Stuntz has brilliantly highlighted the supply side of overcriminalization – how the institutional purposes of criminal justice actors will often be served by more criminal law (and perhaps more criminal enforcement) than is appropriate for a well-functioning society. One might profitably supplement his insights by exploring the demand side, and in particular how criminal law offers a unique and unnecessarily bundled set of institutional and procedural characteristics for which there are no non-criminal substitutes. While for actors within the system, the opacity of criminal law cloaks the self-dealing of agencies and agencies (that's the supply side problem), so for outsiders, the shadow of criminal law offers some alluring shade. Efforts to fill in the gaps between prosecutorial and non-criminal options would alleviate the pressure on criminal enforcement.

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