At times, laws are written so broadly that a creative and aggressive prosecutor
could charge you with a crime for virtually everything you do. Just think: how
many traffic laws did you break
driving to school today? My bet: a lot.
But obviously, we cannot charge everyone who “breaks” the law

if we did, the
criminal justice system would be choked with cases and it would break down
very quickly. So, how do we decide when to prosecute and wh
en to look away?
Are there (or should there be) rules that help guide police and prosecutors?
Can economics help us in deciding what to prosecute? Let’s take a look.
I have uploaded a number of
articles
to the ‘
assignment
4

folder
(these
introduce the i
ssue, and include Tim Wu’s piece in Slate). I ask you to
consider
the following:
o
why should we prosecute some conduct and ignore others?
o
what guidance would you offer to the police to help them decide which is
which?
o
can economics help us decide?
o
based
on your recommendations above, what limitations can you
foresee? Can you think of anything that might go wrong?
The Rules
o
be no longer than 2 pages, double spaced (that’s about 1,000 words). It
can be shorter, if you think you can do a good job in less
space;
o
be typed using Times New Roman 12

point font, 1” inch margins;
o
look good.
A hard copy of your memo is due
on our last day of class, May 9, 2017
(
of
course, you are welcome to subm
it it earlier).

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