Legal scholars and critics contribute to the development of law in many ways: the comprehensive treatise, the heavily footnoted law review article, the closely reasoned philosophical essay, the econometric model, the theoretical discourse, the bar association or American Law Institute law reform project, among many others. Law professors dedicate whole careers to perfecting one or more of these forms. But few can claim to have had the impact on the law, the system of criminal justice, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of criminal defendants that Marvin Frankel had with one thin volume addressed to "literate citizens – not primarily lawyers and judges, but not excluding them." The book, of course, was Criminal Sentences: Law without Order. My paperback copy, purchased when I was a law student shortly after it came out, runs only to 124 pages, but it spurred a movement that ultimately affected sentencing practice across America.
Gerard E. Lynch,
Marvin Frankel: A Reformer Reassessed,
Fed. Sent. Rep.
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