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Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

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As this symposium demonstrates, criminology has much to offer criminal law and procedure. But there are limits to this endeavor, such as when public policy is distorted by powerful emotions that ignore the lessons of legal doctrine and social science. This article presents one possible response in such circumstances: expanding the interdisciplinary relationship to include literary and cultural materials usually associated with the humanities. These works can inspire the public imagination in ways that law and criminology cannot, at times offering an alternative narrative to counter emotion-driven claims of necessity, for instance, and raising the exact type of questions that legal doctrine and social science can help answer. As a case in point, the article considers the post-9/11 narrative of fear that paved the way for various deviations in criminal law and procedure. It then suggests that dystopian fiction provided an alternative image of authoritarian abuses to contrast with the representations of government.


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