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Jurisprud: Topics in Crim. Law Seminar

Locking people up against their will in small spaces is ordinarily a crime. When the state locks up offenders, however, it's simply part of our commonplace practice of incarceration. Why, if at all, is the state morally justified in punishing offenders? Do they deserve to suffer? Is incarceration justified to prevent crime and rehabilitate offenders? How do the purposes of punishment inform the substance of criminal law? In light of modern science, can we hold people criminally responsible at all? In this course, we will examine these and other questions, drawing primarily on legal and philosophical sources. Students will have broad latitude to select a final paper topic at the intersection of criminal law and philosophy and will present their projects during the latter part of the course. While prior exposure to philosophy is helpful, this class has no prerequisites.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade only. A paper is required which may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. No third credit option.