Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

What are the pros and cons of living in a broken trash compactor? The advantages are actually many and substantial. The danger of electrocution, for example, is less than that of sleeping near a 600- volt electrified train rail...

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1. Does the Constitution Morally Bind the Poor?

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pp. 7-39

This chapter explores a crucial, but largely undiscussed, problem in American constitutional jurisprudence. The problem is not difficult to state: Many Americans live through remarkable deprivation and disadvantage. Their stories differ widely...

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2. The Progressive Logic of Criminal Responsibility and the Circumstances of the Most Deprived

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pp. 40-101

We know that the pull of gravity differs on the earth and on the moon. Can the pull of moral and social gravity also vary with place, even within what is nominally the same society? This chapter will argue that it...

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3. Desperation and Necessity: Les Miserables on Trial

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pp. 102-174

Let us suppose that the argument of the previous chapter was utterly mistaken. Even the most severely deprived persons could then be said to typically bear moral responsibility for their criminal acts. Of course, standard defenses...

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Conclusion

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pp. 175-178

At the beginning of this book, we met a person who lived, disastrously, in a temporarily broken trash compactor. This book has tried to redeem some legal space for such persons. It is difficult to be entirely satisfied...

Notes

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pp. 179-183

Bibliography

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pp. 185-215

Index

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pp. 217-219