University of Pittsburgh, Summer 2000

Philosophy 1390: Philosophy of Law

C.L. 226—Tuesdays, 6 p.m. to 8:55 p.m.

Ben Eggleston—


Paper assignment no. 4


Write a paper answering one of the following three questions:


  1. Consider Langbein’s claim that plea bargaining is similar to torture. Are his arguments sound? Does the presence of plea bargaining in the American criminal-justice system mean that it is an unjust system?


  1. Suppose you were a judge being consulted in Fuller’s case of the speluncean explorers. What would be your decision in this case? Note affinities or points of contrast between your decision and those provided by Fuller’s fictitious justices.


  1. Consider the opposing positions on the death penalty expressed by van den Haag and Nathanson. Which of these positions, in your view, is the stronger?


Your paper will be due at the beginning of class on August 1, and will be graded according to the following requirements:



points possible:

points earned:

1.     Your paper accurately answers one of the questions stated above:



2.     Your paper includes, but is not overwhelmed by, appropriate quotations from the text(s) your paper discusses:



3.     Your paper is well organized and clearly written, with good spelling and good grammar:



4.     Your paper is 4–5 typed, double-spaced pages in length; this sheet is stapled to the front of your paper; the question your paper is answering is clearly marked on this sheet, above; and your name is on this sheet, below:



·       lateness penalty, if applicable: (3 points off per business day late)



total score for this paper:




Your name: _________________________________