Criminal Justice Ethics

A semiannual journal focusing on ethical issues in criminal justice. Includes articles on topics relating to the police, the courts, corrections, and issues in legal philosophy contributed by philosophers, criminal justice professionals, lawyers and judge

Articles from Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer-Fall

Bias Crimes: What Do Haters Deserve?
Susan Gellman has written the most useful and influential article to date on hate or bias crimes, and it is not my purpose in this brief essay to comment on all of the interesting issues she has raised.(1) Neither will I address the general issue of...
Blacklisting Public Contractors as an Anti-Corruption and Racketeering Strategy
In New York City, the struggle against organized crime and the most recent round of corruption scandals have prompted a series of "reforms" aimed at denying public contracts to individuals and firms that are "mob-connected" or otherwise corrupt. While...
"Brother, You Can't Go to Jail for What You're Thinking": Motives, Effects, and "Hate Crime" Laws
Justice Holmes once wrote: "[I]f there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought--not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that...
Editor's Introduction
The recent Supreme Court decision in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul(1) has tended to overshadow a more complex problem that has been confronting the courts. In R.A.V., following the conviction of a St. Paul (Minn.) resident for planting a burning cross...
First Amendment Challenges to Hate Crime Legislation: Where's the Speech?
Introduction In a recent article Susan Gellman argues that hate crime legislation, such as the model legislation drafted by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith ("ADL") violates the First Amendment.(1) The ADL model statute, which has been...
Freedom of Thought as Freedom of Expression: Hate Crime Sentencing Enhancement and First Amendment Theory
I Introduction On a purely moral or emotive level, the concept of sentence enhancement for crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred(1) possesses substantial appeal to many. Racial and religious prejudice clearly runs counter to our nation's...
Intent, Motive, and the R.A.V. Decision
I write to make three points. First: the criminal law's long-standing distinction between intent and motive, which Professor Murphy denigrates, is really quite clear, as legal principles go. Second: in its application to hate crimes, the distinction...
Messages, Motives, and Hate Crimes
James Weinstein, Jeffrie Murphy, and Larry Alexander all effectively contribute to the conclusion that statutes enhancing the criminal penalties for crimes committed with the motivation of racial hatred do not for that reason present plausible First...
Response to Alexander
The case Professor Alexander poses at the beginning of his rejoinder, that of the intentionally drunken officer, is a variant of a familiar problem. One does something, usually ingesting drugs or alcohol voluntarily, which then makes one's, subsequent...
Rethinking the War against Hate Crimes: A New York City Perspective
Since the Supreme Court's recent decision in R. A. V. v. St. Paul,(1) striking down on First Amendment grounds a municipal ordinance making it an offense to "display a symbol which one knows or has reason to know arouses anger, alarm or resentment...
Some Further Thoughts on "Thought Crimes." (Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes)
My thinking on the issue of the constitutionality of sentence enhancement for racially motivated crimes has benefitted enormously from the commentary on my paper, as well as from the commentary directed to other authors. More importantly, this commentary...
Susan Gellman Has It Right
The starting point for the two essays by Murphy and Weinstein to which I will attempt some brief rejoinder was, as they make clear, a thorough and penetrating article by Susan Gellman.(1) In it she laid bare the First Amendment shortcomings of a popular...
The ADL Hate Crime Statute and the First Amendment
James Weinstein makes the case admirably for the ADL statute's consistency with the First Amendment.(1) He disposes rather summarily of Susan Gellman's argument that the ADL statute creates a "thought crime."(2) He points out that the statute does...
The Interaction between Law and Morality in Jewish Law in the Areas of Feticide and Killing a Terminally Ill Individual
The aim of this paper is to examine the tension between the demands of rational morality(1) on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the exclusion of feticide and the killing of a terminally ill individual(2) from the category of culpable homicide...
Voluntary Acts: The Child/Davidson Trilemma
James Child, in "Donald Davidson and Section 2.01 of the Model Penal Code,"(1) applied the Davidsonian analysis of action ("intentional under some description") to explain the requirement of a voluntary act in criminal law and to show how it is consistent...
Why We Should Establish a Police Code of Ethics
During the past three decades, a number of substantive changes have occurred within American society that have affected our perspectives about law enforcement officers and the organizations in which they serve. Many of these changes have resulted from...