Contrary to the frequency claims of excessive leniency on the part of judges that are often asserted by journalists and shapers of opinions, Rossi and Berk find strong correspondence between the median sentences deemed appropriate by the public and the sentences prescribed by the guidelines. Although the authors conclude that the Commission was able to match prescribed punishments closely to the American consensus for most crimes, in one category -- drug trafficking offenses -- the guidelines were much harsher in dealing with offenders.
The national survey used a factorial survey as its design strategy, allowing for analysis of a large variety of federal crimes and variations in the social characteristics of convicted felons. A wealth of detail, along with ample graphic and tabular illustrations, extends the book's application to issues of consensus and variations in punitiveness by region and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents.
According to Pound, philosophies of law historically have rationally adjusted legal developments to the circumstantial needs of society. Pound concerned himself primarily with the practical effects of American legal developments within the context of social interests and general security. He encouraged American jurists to abandon efforts to conform obsolete models of legal philosophy to new realities. The significance of Pound's scholarship, particularly An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law, is the legal relativism inherent therein and its ongoing impact not merely on American jurisprudence, but on the imperative that American public policy be tested in the juridical crucible of relativism.
Marshall DeRosa writes in his new introduction that in the light of twentieth-century judicial politics, Roscoe Pound's philosophy of law has prevailed to a significant extent. This book's relevance to appreciating the development of the American legal system in all its complexities--including liability law, contract law, and property law--is in itself notable. But, in terms of understanding the twentieth-century development of the American rule of law, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law is indispensable. It will make an invaluable addition to the personal libraries of legal theorists, philosophers, political scientists, and historians of American law.
The core of Gurvitch's sociology of law is at root a continuation of the efforts, apparent in the work of Max Weber, to resolve or integrate the dualism which is so markedly affecting law. It is the apparent dualism between law as a positive institution resting upon a framework of social power, while at the same time being a system of values or norms having some compelling internal strength and validity. Gurvitch's Sociology of Law shines as a beacon in the ongoing quest for a transformative vision of law. The new introduction by Alan Hunt discusses Gurvitch's place in the history of the sociology of law and the context in which his works should be placed. It also features a brief biography of the sociologist as well as a discussion of the central features of Gurvitch's sociology. This book will be of interest to students of sociology and law.