One of the most powerful words in the English language, "corruption" is also one of the most troubled concepts in law. According to Laura Underkuffler, it is a concept based on religiously revealed ideas of good and evil. But the notion of corruption defies the ordinary categories by which law defines crimes-categories that punish acts, not character, and that eschew punishment on the basis of religion and emotion. Drawing on contemporary examples-including former assemblywoman Diane Gordon and former governor Rod Blagojevich-Underkuffler explores the implications and dangers of maintaining such an archaic concept at the heart of criminal law.
"Underkuffler challenges the traditional rational and logical characterizations of corruption and defends a highly original and insightul proposal. In her view corruption is an emotional concept grounded in religious ideas defying traditional criminal law doctrines. This book is a fantastic contribution to the study of corruption as well as more generally to the study of law and culture."-Alon Harel, Hebrew University Law School