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The Dual Penal StateThe Crisis of Criminal Law in Comparative-Historical Perspective$
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Markus D. Dubber

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744290

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198744290.001.0001

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Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Criminal Law Bill

Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Criminal Law Bill

Chapter:
(p.189) 6 Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Criminal Law Bill
Source:
The Dual Penal State
Author(s):

Markus D. Dubber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198744290.003.0007

Part III of Dual Penal State uses dual penal state analysis to generate a comparative-historical account of American penality. With comparative glimpses at Germany and, to a lesser extent, England, it distinguishes between two responses to the shared challenge of legitimating state penal power in a modern liberal democratic state: (1) the failure to appreciate the legitimatory challenge of modern state penal power in particular (United States) and of modern state power in general (England); and (2) the failure to address the legitimatory challenge of modern state penal power as an ongoing existential threat to the legitimacy of the state (Germany). Chapter 6 undertakes a critical analysis of Jefferson’s 1779 draft of a criminal law bill for the State of Virginia, concluding that it fell well short of a criminal code that reflected the ideals of the American legal-political project as spelled out, for instance, in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence of 1776.

Keywords:   Criminal law, punishment, state power, liberalism, police power, rule of law, Rechtsstaat, legal history, comparative law, police, police power, law state, police state, dual penal state, dualistic analysis, legal history, longue durée, Thomas Jefferson

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