San Francisco, CA asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Contracts and Copyright for California

Q: hey I have this assignment for a criminal law philosophy class I'm taking, I need help brainstorming

I can think of a few laws that fall under this idea, but none that are intriguing enough to write a paper about. Any ideas of a law that we regularly abide by even though it doesn't directly align with personal values?

"We have respect for the law, as an institution, even though we may have little or no respect for a specific legal measure. There were instances where even the much despised Prohibition act was obeyed in letter and in spirit by socially responsible citizens whose sentiments were not in accord with the law itself," (Fuller 629).

Identify and describe a present-day law or legal code from the quote above.

2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: Not sure this meets your "regularly abide by" criterion, but, I practiced in Oklahoma City for 15 years, and there was a criminal law on the books sanctioning the "Abominable Crime Against Nature" (originally passed, it is surmised, to outlaw anything that gay people might do sexually). The OK Court of Criminal Appeals (highest appeals court in OK on criminal matters), has validated/upheld convictions for violation of the law (the convicted defendants were lesbians). The penalty is twenty years imprisonment. I think 6 or 8 other states likewise criminalize the Abominable Crime Against Nature. The law is remarkable, as a criminal law, because it does not specify any of the elements of the putative crime. It's like the southern baptists just know when they see it, or, er, hear about it (like, how do the authorities observe such a crime?). So, just by way of example, anal sex would be "abominable" (just like Jane Curtin said in Witches of Eastwick). In my time in OKC, I met more than a few native Okie ladies who enjoyed anal sex.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Taxes are a good example. You may disagree with taxes in that you have little to no respect to how your tax dollars are spent. However, responsible citizens pay their taxes.

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