The book Privilege or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties1 is a must-read for anyone interested in family law and American criminal justice doctrines. The book is an extraordinary contribution not only because it effectively documents the significant interaction between family status and formal criminal law, but also because it critically assesses the history of and justifications for family status criminal law doctrines. I consider profoundly important the book's descriptive account of "how family members and their interests intersect with . . . the American criminal justice system" (xii), but I find the authors' description of this intersection disappointingly shallow. More significantly, I am troubled by what seem to be key normative assumptions and arguments the authors make in Privilege or Punish.
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