Emory Law Journal

Volume 62Issue 1

Debunking Claims of Over-Federalization of Criminal Law

Susan R. Klein, Ingrid B. Grobey | 62 Emory L.J. 1 (2012)

Virtually all criminal law scholars bemoan the over-federalization of criminal law. They are joined by judges, bar review associations, and special interest groups. Conventional wisdom has it that our federal congressmen and senators curry favor with their constituents by making a federal case out of any conceivable bad behavior. On the other hand, a lawmaker who votes to repeal a criminal law may be faced with accusations that she is soft on crime. Thus, politics (rather than reasoned judgment) has led to the passage of upwards of approximately 4,500 federal criminal prohibitions, as many as half of these passed since 1970.

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The Constitutional Right Not to Kill

Mark L. Rienzi | 62 Emory L.J. 121 (2012)

Federal and state governments either participate in or permit a variety of different types of killings. These include military operations, capital punishment, assisted suicide, abortion, and self-defense or defense of others. In a pluralistic society, it is no surprise that there will be some members of the population who refuse to participate in some or all of these types of killings.

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Principles for Passion Killing: An Evolutionary Solution to Manslaughter Mitigation

D. Barret Broussard | 62 Emory L.J. 179 (2012)

The law recognizes the frailty of human nature by mitigating murder to manslaughter when committed in the heat of passion or under extreme emotional disturbance. Evolutionary analysis entails the scientific study of the principles of human nature. Yet, the law’s understanding of human nature is not congruent with evolutionary analysis. To be legally provoked under common law for manslaughter mitigation, a homicide must be in response to one of four kinds of provocation: adultery, mutual combat, false arrest, and violent assault. And under adultery, only sexual infidelity counts. Sexual infidelity is not the only type of infidelity that can push a person into a homicidal rage, and while American jurisdictions have started moving away from the rigid categories, sexual infidelity remains a paradigmatic approach for mitigation. The Model Penal Code attempted to make the law more contextual, but it created a new series of adjudications that are expansive and also incongruent with evolutionary analysis.

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Making Debt Pay: Examining the Use of Property Tax Delinquency as a Revenue Source

Michelle Z. Marchiony | 62 Emory L.J. 217 (2012)

In tough economic times, everyone looks for ways to do more with less. Local governments, however, face the challenge of doing more with money they do not have. With the recent shrinking of their budgets, it is critical that governments use their limited funding and opportunities for future funding wisely. One such opportunity for future revenue, the payment of delinquent property tax obligations, is critical to providing basic public services, such as education and emergency services. However, government officials may not be maximizing this resource and there is a risk that governments’ financial needs are being exploited.

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