The purpose of this book is to contribute to a holistic view of criminal justice as it exists in late twentieth-century America, by measuring its institutional performance against the requirements of the rule-of-law concept. The discussion does not seek novelty either in the liberal values asserted or in the data considered. The values are not new. They were given expression near the beginning of the modern era in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the legality principle, itself, is one of the most notable products of the liberal revolution of that time. Liberalism, as Learned Hand once suggested, is less a social program or a system of thought than a frame of mind.1 In modern America, support for liberal values is not robust; the frame of mind is ambiguous and sometimes hostile. As argued in the discussion that follows, attenuation of support in the areas of criminal justice is in significant part a product of certain intellectual currents in the universities, on the one hand, and, on the other, widespread popular attitudes inspired by the perception and reality of epidemic criminality in the United States. It is my hope that identifying and reasserting the importance of the historic values may serve useful purposes in these times.
The content of this volume, revised and somewhat ex____________________