In Defense of the Model Penal Code: A Reply to Professor Fletcher

Paul Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School


Robinson responds to George Fletcher's attacks on the Model Penal Code, specifically Fletcher's often biting claims that the drafters adopted these dogmas: (1) Define as many concepts as you can -- whether you are competent to do so or not. (2) Write provisions that seem precise but that judges could never understand. (3) Assume that you and your drafting committee are the only smart lawyers who have ever lived. (4) Pretend to subscribe to the rule of law. (5) Wreak theoretical changes, inadvertently if possible. (6) Pretend the problem of mistake does not exist. (7) Recognize but do not recognize mistake of law as an excuse.