Oblique intent

Why the name? Well criminal law afficionados will recognise the phrase 'oblique intent' as referring to a problem of mens rea:can a person who intends to do x (such as setting fire to a building to scare the occupants) also be said to have an intention to kill if one of the occupants dies? This is a problem that has consumed an inordinate amount of time in the appeal courts and in the legal journals, and can be taken to represent a certain kind of approach to legal theory. My approach is intended to be more oblique to this mainstream approach, and thus to raise different kinds of questions and issues. Hence the name.

Monday, 3 December 2012

On the illegality of sodomy in the US

I have just discovered this map:
[From: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/04/map-has-your-state-banned-sodomy]

It is hard to know what to say. I have to confess that I am shocked that laws against sodomy remain on the books in so many states in the US in spite of the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v Texas (2003) that these were unconstitutional. Of course, it can be argued that these laws have no force, but the very fact that they have not formally been repealed has symbolic force and sends a clear message about the public tolerance of homosexual activities. Even criminalization without the possibility of enforcement is not entirely innocent.

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