Law and Contemporary Problems

A quarterly law journal publishing issues devoted to papers on a particular topic of contemporary interest. Topics usually reflect an interdisciplinary perspective with contributions by lawyers, economists, social scientists, scholars in other disciplines

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 2, Spring

Adjudicating the Guilty Mind
Criminal law seems to continue always on its long march, which began at least in the distant reaches of the English common law, toward more particularized and theorized doctrines of mental state. In a growing class of cases in criminal adjudication...
Blaming as a Social Process: The Influence of Character and Moral Emotion on Blame
I INTRODUCTION When we assign blame for something bad that happened, we are doing something social--we are identifying another human being who caused harm, without justification or excuse. A window broken by a hurricane elicits a story about...
Corrupt Intentions: Bribery, Unlawful Gratuity, and Honest-Services Fraud
I INTRODUCTION This article advances the understanding of bribery and related offenses from an economic standpoint. (1) Economic theory holds that the legal system should impose criminal liability on a person who advances his goals by using force...
Federal Mens Rea Interpretation and the Limits of Culpability's Relevance
I INTRODUCTION The standard description of Anglo-American criminal law is that liability requires voluntary conduct and a culpable mental state--the union of act and intent. (1) Proof of both ensures that criminal punishment rests upon fault...
Immunizing against Bad Science: The Vaccine Court and the Autism Test Cases
I INTRODUCTION Despite assurances from healthcare providers, questions about vaccine safety remain in the media spotlight and public debate, particularly the concern that vaccines cause autism. Since 2002, the federal court that hears vaccine-injury...
More Problems with Criminal Trials: The Limited Effectiveness of Legal Mechanisms
I INTRODUCTION Criminal adjudication is a core feature in American public life. Trials are considered "the central institution of law as we know it," (1) the "crown jewel" of the legal system. (2) Amidst its multiple purposes, an essential objective...
On the Mental State of Consciousness of Wrongdoing
I INTRODUCTION In the adjudication of white collar crime, a conceptually challenging mental state is on the rise. The idea is that an actor's "consciousness of wrongdoing" (or awareness of guilt, or like formulations) is a determinative factor...
Plotting Premeditation's Demise
I INTRODUCTION Few legal concepts are as accessible to the layman as is premeditation. Popular culture is filled with images of premeditating actors, be they Professor Moriarty, Voldemort, or even the opaquely denominated Dr. Evil. What is striking...
Public Perceptions of White Collar Crime Culpability: Bribery, Perjury, and Fraud
We are accustomed to thinking of "crime" as involving the most blameworthy and antisocial sorts of conduct in which citizens can engage, conduct that is clearly and unambiguously more wrongful than conduct that is not criminal. But the reality is more...