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Monday, April 14, 2008


Just a note to share some exciting news. Ethan Leib, Jennifer Collins and I have recently signed a contract with Oxford University Press to publish in 2009 a book tentatively titled, Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties.

The project, briefly stated, looks at how the criminal justice system both benefits and burdens  defendants based on their family ties or family status. We examine the various sites where these benefits and burdens are distributed and then provide a framework for thinking about how best to evaluate the proper scope of these benefits and burdens. Applying the framework, we develop a cluster of interesting policy proposals designed to shift the criminal justice system away from using family status as a basis for distributing burdens and benefits.  In the context of most benefits, we generally think great caution is warranted before any such benefits are conferred. With respect to burdens, however, we find that some of them can be justified when we instead focus on the promotion of voluntary care-giving.

This book will tie together and expand upon our research in two articles: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties -- which came out in August 2007 in U. Illinois Law Review -- and Punishing Family Status. That second article (affectionately known among us as PFS) will come out later this year in the Boston University Law Review, and we will likely have a mini-symposium on the article, which made BU's offer to publish very attractive. I will post a draft of it on SSRN shortly but you can find an earlier copy of it on bepress here.

Many people helped us navigate the process of creating a book pitch and securing a book publisher; their advice proved very helpful as we were fortunate to receive offers from two other top presses.  Everyone we met through this process was entirely gracious and helpful and we are very grateful to all those friends, family, and colleagues who helped us so far  -- as well as those who anonymously provided feedback in the reviews. Special thanks are due, of course, to Ethan and Jennifer who have made working on this project so rewarding, and to our families, for their love and patience.

Posted by Administrators on April 14, 2008 at 08:40 AM in Article Spotlight | Permalink


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Congratulations! That is thrilling news! I am so pleased for you. I should say something interesting about the topic, but frankly I would be thrilled for you if it was on the spotted darting snail, although, mind you, I would hope and expect that it would be on the legal significance of spotted darting snail behaviors. Congrats again.

Posted by: Bart | Apr 14, 2008 9:58:28 AM

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