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Moral judgment : does the abuse excuse threaten our legal system?

Author: James Q Wilson
Publisher: New York : BasicBooks, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In Moral Judgment, Professor Wilson demonstrates how our judicial system has compromised its obligation to discriminate between right and wrong. He explains why lawyers and judges - by distinguishing between personal and judicial responsibility, by inviting the participation of "expert witnesses," and by allowing "mitigating circumstances" to play a major role in criminal testimony - have moved from judging behavior
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Wilson, James Q.
Moral judgment.
New York : BasicBooks, ©1997
(OCoLC)607823263
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: James Q Wilson
ISBN: 0465036244 9780465036240
OCLC Number: 35694553
Description: ix, 134 pages ; 20 cm
Responsibility: James Q. Wilson.
More information:

Abstract:

In Moral Judgment, Professor Wilson demonstrates how our judicial system has compromised its obligation to discriminate between right and wrong. He explains why lawyers and judges - by distinguishing between personal and judicial responsibility, by inviting the participation of "expert witnesses," and by allowing "mitigating circumstances" to play a major role in criminal testimony - have moved from judging behavior to explaining it. Citing the Menendez and Goetz.

Verdicts, among others, Wilson makes an erudite case for re-examining the ethical drift of contemporary jurisprudence. He suggests that courts may encourage individuals to reject personal responsibility for their actions, instead blaming society for failing them. The crux of Wilson's position rests in his closely deliberated congruence of law and morality, a subject that has concerned legal scholars and philosophers for centuries. That the law should follow closely upon.

What society deems morally correct, Wilson contends, is plain common sense. Today, though, what is legally excusable and what is morally acceptable have diverged to the point that criminals who should be given harsher sentences often get lighter penalties, or are even, sometimes, set free altogether. Even more dangerous, though, is a deeper corruption of the way jurists think and judge, which consequently has eroded how the larger public differentiates right and wrong.

With each passing day, the courts move closer to an atmosphere of moral paralysis, further impairing not only our capacity to deal with criminals, but also to make ethically sound judgments.

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