Welcome to Criminal Law!
This casebook is the result of a collaboration by Professors Oberman and Ball with a team of law students over the course of the pandemic summer of 2020. This project aimed to redress some of the shortcomings of conventional casebook approaches to criminal law. Too often, casebooks surface issues of mental health, sex, gender, race and sexual orientation without meaningful context to situate how these issues have been treated by the criminal legal system, how they reflect social norms, how they have changed over time, etc.). Too seldom do casebooks invite a meaningful discussion of the role of race in the criminal legal system.
One final note: We developed a second casebook, Current Challenges in Criminal Law, which we suggest using as a companion to this casebook. (Although it can be used independently, of course). It features links to audio and video content, keyed to the topics in the criminal law casebook.
*We are deeply indebted to the following individuals, among others, whose work helped constitute the foundation upon which we've built: Joshua Dressler; Stephen Garvey; Cynthia Lee; Angela Harris; Jeannie Suk; Tim Wu; Amna Akbar, Alice Ristroph, Paul Butler, Allegra McLeod, Jocelyn Simonson. Thanks to Karen Tani for telling us about the Open Casebook platform! Thanks to our associate dean and colleague Mike Flynn, who found time for our work amidst the chaos of leading our school through the pandemic chaos. And thanks to our students and co-authors, who are the driving force behind this project: Cydney Chilimidos; Miriam Contreras; Jenai Howard; Christina Iriart; Angela Madrigal; Leah Mesfin; Zachary Nemirovsky; Nicholas Newman; Nathanial Perez; Michael Pons; and Phillip Yin.
This book, and all H2O books, are Creative Commons licensed for sharing and re-use. Material included from the American Legal Institute is reproduced with permission and is exempted from the open license.