Crisis in American Criminal Law

Reflections from a Comparative Perspective

This article addresses the intense current disaffection with the American criminal justice system. It highlights a few of the contemporary crisis points discussed in my course ‘Current Controversies in American Criminal Law’, taught in the spring 2015 at Leiden University. Topics surveyed include ‘zero tolerance’ and militarized policing, drug crime prosecution and incarceration, self defense, arrest and the use of force, the jury advocacy trial and plea bargaining.