Magazine October 31, 2011, Issue

To Serve and Protect

Detail of a photograph of Earl Warren, chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969 (Wikimedia)
The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, by William J. Stuntz (Belknap, 432 pp., $35)

In a New York Times obituary published a few days after his death earlier this year, William J. Stuntz’s onetime boss at Harvard Law School, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, described the late professor’s philosophy as “Stuntzian.” She’s undoubtedly right: Hardly anybody — regardless of his political leanings — will be able to agree with every argument or statement in Stuntz’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. In all, however, it’s a fascinating, passionate, compassionate, often brilliant book. Flawless? No. But it’s a work that deserves to have a significant influence on American criminal-justice thinkers from across the political spectrum.


Eli Lehrer is president and co-founder of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank. He lives in Herndon, Va., with his wife, Kari, and son, Andrew.

In This Issue



Education Section

Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

A bunch of obnoxious, freakish-looking people made a spectacle of themselves in downtown New York. You don’t say.


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