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To accomplish this, he advocates fewer settlements of cases and more trials, at which injured parties would be permitted, even encouraged, to vent rage at their oppressors. A novelist as well as teacher of law and literature, Rosenbaum believes in the power of storytelling as a means of healing and insists the storytelling should continue even after judgment is entered. A second trial phase should immediately convene, one in which all participants would discuss their grief, disappointment and shame.

No one would be permitted to leave until all the stories had been told in full. On other themes, Rosenbaum urges that a duty to rescue should be recognized in American law as a moral imperative, and endorses apologies as beneficial to victims and wrongdoers alike.

"Symposium Introduction: The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal Syste" by Thane Rosenbaum

But perhaps provoking lawyers is part of the book's point. Rosenbaum law, Fordham Univ. He argues that the system fails to consider the basic question of why people bring lawsuits or prosecute criminals. The desire for a moral lesson, an apology, or an ability to express feelings is currently suppressed by the law.


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Using examples from movies, plays, and fiction, he contrasts the grievances and expectations of justice of individuals entering the system and the institutionalized results the system delivers. Rosenbaum suggests that the law should provide moral remedies and strive to restore human relationships for the good of the entire community. He further argues that, instead of reducing damages to dollars and cents, the law should require apologies to the injured. This well-written book ranges widely in its use of examples, which include the Torah, Seinfeld, and the courtroom movies of John Grisham.

Recommended for large collections. Louis c Copyright Thank you for using the catalog. The myth of moral justice ; why our legal system fails to do what's right. Justice, Administration of -- United States.

Justice, Administration of, in literature. Justice, Administration of, in motion pictures.

THE MYTH OF MORAL JUSTICE: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What's Right

Courts -- United States. Law -- United States. Summary American culture is obsessed with the law, the legal system, and lawyers. Booklist Review Lawyer-turned-novelist Rosenbaum argues for the ideal of a morally centered legal system rather than our current one, which is so rigid and formulaic that it rarely delivers just outcomes.


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Publisher's Weekly Review A professor at Fordham Law School, Rosenbaum The Golems of Gotham observes that American culture is enthralled by lawyers and courtroom proceedings, yet Americans distrust lawyers and find the quality of justice in this country deficient. The Split Between The Moral and the Legal In the motion picture The Verdict , directed by Sidney Lumet from a screenplay written by David Mamet, Paul Newman, playing the role of Frank Galvin, a washed-up, ambulance-chasing, alcoholic attorney desperate for a second chance, sums up his case to the jury by imploring, and empowering them, to simply do the right thing.

Author Corner

Throughout the film the jurors become witnesses to an avalanche of moral corruption and cynicism -- all courtesy of the legal system. They see the artifice that shadows the spectacle of a trial, the breaches of professional duty and lapses in human character, the way the courtroom, despite its sturdy, marbled appearance, can serve as an unbalanced playing field for those outmatched by resources and foiled by foul play.

And there are so many instances of tampering, not with the jury, but with what the jury is exposed to: Having faith that the jury will be able to judge what is real, honest, and human from the staged facades and deceit that dominated the courtroom, Paul Newman ultimately summed up what most people expect and wish the law to be: So much of the time we're just lost.

We say, please God, tell us what is right, tell us what is true.

When there is no justice, the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead. We think of ourselves as victims, and we become victims We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs, we doubt our institutions. We doubt the law. But today you are the law. These are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are in fact a prayer, a fervent and frightened prayer Rosenbaum law, Fordham Univ. He argues that the system fails to consider the basic question of why Thane Rosenbaum teaches courses in human rights, legal humanities, and law and literature at Fordham Law School.

In The Myth of Moral Justice, law professor and novelist