Politics, Punishment, and Populism

Hardcover | June 1, 1998

EditorWindlesham

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The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was arguably the most important legislative achievement of President Clinton's first term. In this detailed account, Lord Windlesham, a prominent legal scholar, British legislator, and Oxford College Principal, brings his experience tobear in analyzing the forces inside and outside the 103rd Congress, which shaped the final content of the Act. Controversial issues discussed include racial justice, "three strikes and you're out" and mandatory sentencing, the Brady Act and the assault weapons ban, the competing claims of prisonbuilding and prevention programs, drug policies, and restrictions on repeat sex offenders after release from prison. The narrative of Politics, Punishment, and Populism continues with the "Contract with America" and the crime policies adopted after the Republicans won control of both the House and Senate in the elections for the 104th Congress. The external pressures, and the Congressional tactics deployed tofacilitate passage of such measures as the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Megan's Law, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act, are examined in the second part of the book. Subsequent challenges in the courts are also reviewed, including some cases decided by the Supreme Court at theend of its 1996-97 term. The focal point throughout is the impact of populist opinion, as well as that of special-interest groups, upon elected representatives in the formation of public policy. The role of one of the most politically potent of all lobbies, the National Rifle Association, is assessed in the context of thecompetition it faces from an increasingly activist gun control movement. The book concludes by asking whether an end is in sight regarding America's isolated tolerance of lethal weapons.

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The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was arguably the most important legislative achievement of President Clinton's first term. In this detailed account, Lord Windlesham, a prominent legal scholar, British legislator, and Oxford College Principal, brings his experience tobear in analyzing the forces inside and outs...

Lord Windlesham is Principal of Brasenose College at Oxford University and national President of Victim Support in the United Kingdom. He was Chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales in the 1980s, and before that served in government as a Minister at the Home Office and the Northern Ireland Office. Among other books, his pub...

other books by Windlesham

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:June 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195115309

ISBN - 13:9780195115307

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"Lord Windlesham offers a precise and fascinating portrait of the process by which public fears become national law, while also focusing much needed attention on the unintended consequences of a democracy's efforts to control crime....[He] brings a fresh, comparative perspective to the natureof American criminal justice....Those who believe that recent events in Littleton may produce change would do well to read this book...superb..."--Law and History Review