Chapter 44. Overcriminalization

  1. Dennis Patterson Professor2,3,4
  1. Douglas Husak Professor

Published Online: 27 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch44

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

How to Cite

Husak, D. (2010) Overcriminalization, in A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition (ed D. Patterson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch44

Editor Information

  1. 2

    European University Institute, Florence, Italy

  2. 3

    Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey, USA

  3. 4

    Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405170062

Online ISBN: 9781444320114

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Keywords:

  • overcriminalization and its meaning;
  • criminalization and overcriminalization;
  • claim of overcriminalization – too much conduct to punitive sanctions, unintelligible without a baseline;
  • Why overcriminalization is worrisome - a system that overcriminalizes, is bound to overpunish;
  • overcriminalization - producing punishments, disproportionate to their desert;
  • political and scholarly causes of overcriminalization;
  • criminal laws limiting nonfundamental liberties - and assessed by applying the rational basis test;
  • constitutional theory - indifference to contrast between criminal and noncriminal legislation;
  • normative theory of criminalization;
  • criminal legislation - aiming toward substantial state interest, three analytically distinct parts

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Meaning of Overcriminalization

  • Why Overcriminalization Is Worrisome

  • Political and Scholarly Causes of Overcriminalization

  • A Normative Theory of Criminalization

  • References