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Tulsa Law Review

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criminality, George Fletcher, Rethinking Criminal Law


George Fletcher's Rethinking Criminal Law (“Rethinking”) is the ultimate cut-to-the-chase treatise. The book does not belabor the frailties of existing criminal law, but rather predicts an overhaul of much of its doctrine. This essay marks a tribute to Rethinking's influence by examining two of the book's well known “patterns of criminality”: (1) “manifest criminality,” which proposes that crimes are acts that any “objective” observer would clearly recognize as illegal without knowing anything about the mental state of the person committing those acts, and, in stark contrast, (2) “subjective criminality,” which suggests that crimes are consciously intended and experienced only by those who are committing them and that this sense of intention and experience is highly individual.

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Criminal Law Commons