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Unpublished Paper
Injury-in-Fact, Justice-in-Fiction: Toward a More Realistic Definition of “Injury” in the Context of Unenforced Criminal Laws
ExpressO (2009)
  • Jason R LaFond, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Abstract
This article argues that the “prosecution or credible threat of prosecution” standard endorsed by the Supreme Court to analyze standing in challenges to criminal laws is too narrow. Part I seeks to counter the notion of unenforced criminal laws as "dead words" and "harmless empty shadows" by reviewing recent research from multiple disciplines including psychology, sociology, and economics, which shows that unenforced laws have just as strong an effect on individuals and society as prosecution or the threat of prosecution. Part II traces the history and rationale of standing and the requirement of injury and examines recent standing cases, arguing that there is room in Article III standing for this wider definition of injury caused by criminal laws.
Keywords
  • Standing,
  • social norms
Disciplines
Publication Date
February 18, 2009
Citation Information
Jason R LaFond. "Injury-in-Fact, Justice-in-Fiction: Toward a More Realistic Definition of “Injury” in the Context of Unenforced Criminal Laws" ExpressO (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jason_lafond/1/