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This sample criminal law research paper features: 10200 words (approx. 34 pages), an outline, and a bibliography with 32 sources. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. If you need a thorough research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A! Feel free to contact our writing service for professional assistance. We offer high-quality assignments for reasonable rates.


  1. Introduction
  2. Criminal Law during The Colonial Period
    1. Criminal Law in The New England Colonies
    2. The Pennsylvania Experiment in Criminal Law
  3. The Revolution and Its Aftermath
    1. Jefferson’s Proposed Reform of The Penal Law of Virginia
    2. Pennsylvania and The Degrees of Murder
  4. Criminal Law during The Antebellum Period
    1. Edward Livingston and Criminal Law
    2. The Movement to Abolish The Death Penalty
  5. Criminal Law during The Postbellum Period
    1. Field’s Reforms in New York State
  6. Progressivism and Criminal Law
    1. Probation
    2. Parole
    3. The Juvenile Court
  7. Twentieth-Century Developments in Criminal Law
    1. The Cleveland Survey
    2. The Wickersham Commission
    3. The Model Penal Code
  8. Bibliography


It is an undeniable fact that the law of crimes in the United States has historically suffered from a malevolent neglect. In other fields of the law, there has always been a tradition of judges, legislators, and legal commentators being willing, if not eager, to scrutinize fundamental premises and push doctrinal reform if they believed society demanded it. The predominant view of the American legal profession regarding the penal law, however, appears to have been that if it needed change, it would improve itself. Therefore, it is not unexpected that criminal law has long been one of the least developed, most convoluted, and, in a way, most primitive branches of American law.

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