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February 18, 2015


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At least the death sentence ends with the death. Compare death sentence with $180,000 in co-signed student loans to Drexel Law school


I think it is in poor taste to compare an execution to the law school scam. Perhaps you should consider getting some perspective?


Debt sentences are seen as more final and irrevocable than other punishments.

James Grimmelmann

This version is more in need of support than a flat "Death sentences are more final and irrevocable than other punishments." You can take scholarly notice of execution's finality. But to claim that death sentences are "seen" as more final is a claim about what other people believe and as such, it's more open to empirical proof or disproof.

Enrique Guerra-Pujol

Seen by whom? Why does the author use the passive voice?

Derek Tokaz

It's a bit tough to follow what the criticism is here. Is it that the assertion isn't more definitive? He says it's "seen as" more final; do you want him to say that it is in fact more final?

That's a substantially different assertion, and one that's not uncontroversial. Cutting off a hand is just as final and irrevocable. So is torture. And, many would argue that simple imprisonment is irrevocable. You can let someone out, but you can't undo the time served.

Or is the criticism that a footnote was even required? (As your parenthetical seems to indicate.) Perhaps it's not necessary, but I don't see anything wrong with it either. Footnotes are rather unobtrusive and shouldn't be distracting, especially by the time you get to the 90th footnote of the paper.

But, if the point of this post is just to criticize the form of law review articles, which often state the obvious and then provide a citation to it, resulting in a form that is seemingly a parody of itself, then that critique certainly hits the mark. I mean, just look at these bits of satirical genius:

"To be sure, the United States government [after 9/11] did not completely obliterate civil liberties." I'm glad Eric Muller was around to be cited, otherwise how would we know that we didn't immediately plunge into a literal 1984?

"The central role of rhetoric in law has always been obvious, of course." The footnote then says "As one commentator noted, 'law is the very profession of rhetoric.'" Oh boy, what a doozey! Someone call Jay Wexler to do a zinger count!

"The academic community has come to a consensus about who makes criminal justice policy: legislatures." I wonder what that meeting was like! And just to add to the hilarity, the footnote, which appears on the first page, asks the reader to flip all the way to the 16th page to find the source! And it doesn't even immediately appear on point, it's an article on plea bargaining. LOL! Oh, my sides! This is better than Sokal. I'm laughing way too hard. I can't, I just can't any more. I have lost my toucan.



Can't remember where but add this to Derek's list: "The common law is, at times, inconsistent."

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