Mapping American Criminal Law

Variations across the 50 States

by Paul H. Robinson and Tyler Scot Williams


Of the fifty states composing the United States, fourteen allow for children as young as ten years old to be tried as adults on murder charges.

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Cover image for Mapping American Criminal Law

June 2018


Pages 328
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Law

Containing 40 visually coded maps of the fifty states, this book offers an unprecedented look at America's diverse legal landscape.

This first-of-its-kind volume sketches the diversity implicit in United States criminal law doctrine through its examination of a range of criminal laws pertaining to murder, sexual assault, drug offenses, the insanity defense, and more and the way in which different states deal with those issues. In addition to providing insights into the most widely invoked standards in criminal law, it raises awareness of the enormous discrepancies among the criminal laws of states, documenting them using dozens of visually coded maps that showcase geographic, political, and socioeconomic differences to explain patterns of agreement and disagreement. Mapping American Criminal Law: Variations Across the 50 States is for political scientists, criminologists, sociologists, legal scholars, policy advisors, legislators, lawyers, judges, and scholars and students of these fields. In addition, each chapter is highly accessible to laypersons and includes an explanation of the subject matter as well as explanations of the various approaches to criminal law taken by states.


  • Reflects the expertise of one of America's most-cited experts in criminal law, coauthor Paul H. Robinson, and is informed by the legal experience of coauthor Tyler Scot Williams
  • Contains important new research on dozens of the most important issues in criminal law
  • Includes 40 visually coded maps that provide an instant picture of the striking diversity in criminal law among states
Author Info

Paul H. Robinson is the Colin S. Diver Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and one of the world's leading criminal law scholars. A prolific writer and lecturer, Robinson served as counsel for the US Senate Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures and was the lone dissenter when the US Sentencing Commission promulgated the current federal sentencing guidelines. Robinson has directed a dozen criminal code reform projects in the United States and abroad, including the first modern Islamic penal code, and is currently commissioned to draft criminal codes for Delaware and Somalia.

Tyler Scot Williams is an associate at a large law firm in Washington D.C. He holds five academic degrees, including a juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and masters degrees in philosophy, medical ethics, and theology.



"What Robinson and Williams do especially well is provide a balance between the theoretical foundation necessary to best understand criminal law and numerous examples of how each issue is worthy of further study. For those interested in understanding criminal law and beyond, this book is invaluable. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."Choice

Other Titles of Interest

Crime and Punishment in America cover imageDo the Crime, Do the Time cover imageAfrican Americans and Criminal Justice cover image
Sentencing cover imagePrisons in the United States cover imageColor behind Bars cover image

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