Getting Away with Murder: How Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System.

Author:Ferrall, Bard R.
Position:Review
 
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SUSAN ESTRICH, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: HOW POLITICS IS DESTROYING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) 161 pp.

The author criticizes three recent trends in criminal law: First, the misapplication of new theories of excuse to create separate standards of reasonable behavior for different sociological groups rather than to resolve factual questions in the individual case while applying the same general standard of reasonableness. Second, calls for "jury nullification" in inappropriate cases, and manipulative techniques of jury selection, the use of which creates cynicism about the jury system. Third, legislative preemption of judicial sentencing, especially mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, and repeat offender statutes. The author asserts that these incidents of legislative preemption may...

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