There are encouraging signs of the timeliness, of criminal law revision and of the recognition of its importance. For example, the current project to provide a model penal code under the auspices of the American Law Institute' has engaged the services of distinguished lawyers, judges, and scholars. And the recently announced program of the American Bar Association to survey the administration of criminal justice is sponsored by leaders of the American bar, including a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This interest in criminal law is rooted in the traditions of the American bar. Thus, while the unparalleled economic progress following the Civil War greatly influenced professional attitudes, it is an indubitable fact that prior to the present century many eminent lawyers, including such immortals as Webster and Lincoln, practiced criminal law without apology; indeed, with satisfaction and pride. That this tradition is still alive, even if it is not widely appreciated, is evident, e.g., in the careers of Borah, Darrow, and Warren as well as in current important projects to improve the criminal law. But, although there is very much in criminal law to stir the imagination and enlist the services of the ablest lawyers and scholars in thorough-going efforts to improve it, it is no less true that any enlistment short of that will prove inadequate to the onerous tasks of revision. The reasons for this will be apparent in the following discussion.
Revision of Criminal Law — Objectives and Methods,
33 Neb. L. Rev. 383
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