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July 21, 2010

The most important thing

About 80% of my upper-level criminal students want to become prosecutors.  For those students, I know exactly what the most important thing I have to tell them is:  That they should be certain that their cases make something better, improve society or solve a problem, rather than just being "wins" because someone goes to prison.

Yet, I often fail to emphasize or even get around to this most important thing.  It is a terrible failure.  I get tied up in trying to describe the hopelessly complex sentencing guidelines or the state scheme or the death penalty and somehow... the class ends and I never stood up for what was most important.

No more, though.  I know this maxim isn't testable, and am well aware that it cannot take up much class time if I am to teach doctrine, but no longer will I fail to describe what is most important because the thick dross of rules has so obscured my vision.

--Mark Osler

July 21, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack