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Monday, April 03, 2006

Erecting the Spartan Presumption against Family Ties Subsidies

In the last two weeks, Ethan, Jennifer Collins and I have posted our article's introduction and the analytic survey of sites within the criminal justice system where the government extends various privileges, benefits or subsidies to the family

Today, we explain the basis for erecting what we call "a Spartan presumption" against such subsidies or benefits to families.  Here's the excerpt.  This part explains the normative costs of such subsidies, which can be summarized briefly. Subsidies to families in the criminal justice system historically facilitate gender hierarchy and domestic violence; undermine the pursuit of accuracy in the effective prosecution of the guilty and the exoneration of the innocent and thus may lead to unwarranted harshness or leniency in the administration of justice; disrupt our liberal political commitments to treat similarly situated persons with equal concern and have a discriminatory effect on those with little or no family; and incentivize more crime and more successful crime. For these reasons, we are generally skeptical of using the criminal justice system to promote family interests absent a compelling reason and no feasible alternative means. 

We invite constructive comments here or by private email.  Many thanks for your continued interest.

Posted by Administrators on April 3, 2006 at 03:07 AM in Article Spotlight, Criminal Law, Dan Markel, Ethan Leib | Permalink


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