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When John Darley and I wrote Justice, Liability, and Blame: Community Views and the Criminal Law, our goal was not to provide the definitive account of lay intuitions of justice but rather to stimulate interest in what we saw as an important but long-term project that would require the work of many people. Having this American Association of Law Schools program is itself something toward that end and for that we thank Christopher Slobogin and Cheryl Hanna. In this brief introduction to the Symposium, let me set the stage by doing four things. Part I of this Article summarizes the arguments we have made elsewhere as to why we think lay intuitions of justice are important for criminal law rule-makers. Part II sketches how we have gone about testing lay intuitions of justice. Part III looks briefly at one simple study to illustrate our methodology, which we have used on a variety of issues, as described in Part IV. Available for download at


justice, punishment, community

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Hofstra Law Review

Publication Citation

28 Hofstra L. Rev. 611 (2000)