Although Stuntz lost his struggle with cancer last year, we are fortunate that he lived long enough to complete his masterwork: The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. The book weaves into a grand narrative of remarkable breadth and learning the various themes his prior scholarship explored. Collapse gives us a long, hard look at the criminal justice system, both as it now exists and how it has developed over time – and, as the title implies, the picture isn’t pretty. ...
It is only by reforming the system that we can hope to reduce crime and maximize liberty and justice for all – and that, we should keep in mind, is the ultimate goal of a criminal justice system, and of a free society, worthy of the name.
Jonathan Jacobs writes:
The late William Stuntz’s The Collapse of American Criminal Justice manages to explanatorily and thematically link a wide range of issues concerning criminal justice, integrating aspects of constitutional law, criminal procedure, demographic facts, prosecutorial discretion, jury selection, plea-bargaining, mandatory sentences, and other matters. Integrating all of those issues without the focus being blurred or the argument sprawling messily is an admirable achievement.