University of Kansas, Spring 2005
Philosophy 674: Philosophy of Law

In-class writing: theories of punishment

Please answer the following question, which is related to today’s reading. You cannot use your text or notes.

Consider the following three theories about criminal punishment. First, the Allay Disproof theory holds that even if a defendant can disprove the state’s claim that he committed some crime, the state can “allay” this disproof by showing that, if the defendant were incarcerated anyway, it would save everybody a whole lot of trouble. Second, the Apollo Fridays theory defends the right of states to regulate the manner in which restaurants’ linens are cleaned, stored, and presented to their patrons. (This theory arose in response to complaints about a New York law requiring nightclubs, as a condition of staying open late on weekends, to provide cloth tablecloths and place settings including napkins folded in the shape of swans.) Third, the Diaspora Folly theory is a view articulated by the Supreme Court in a pair of cases in which it held that immigrants to the United States may, consistent with the Constitution, be required by the individual states in which they reside, or by the Congress of the United States, not to “horse around” unless their activities rise to the level of “indubitable hilarity.” (This theory originated in reaction to objections lodged against a law passed in New Jersey by legislators there who were displeased by certain antics of Albert Einstein, such as playing perfectly respectable selections from Beethoven on the piano but inserting, without warning, brief but all-too-recognizable stretches of “She’ll Be Comin’ ’Round the Mountain.”) These three theories all conflict with the embiggens-cromulence principle, but in different ways. Explain the relevant conflicts with appropriately chosen quotations from the principal embiggens-cromulence texts. If you do not know where to begin with this assignment, start by figuring out what three-word phrase can be spelled by using the thirteen letters that, coincidentally, make up the name of each of the three theories.

Please write answer below the following line, after writing your name here: _______________________________

As before, please fold your paper along the following line, with the following line on the outside of the fold.