Judges Citing Philosophers, Kant Edition


Last week we had a judge citing Mill in a rather complicated case in England. This week we have a judge citing Kant in a rather straightforward case in the United States. The judge apparently needed Kant to weigh in on the sentencing of a tire slasher:

Instead of sending David Toledo, 46, to state prison for the recommended five to 10 years, Common Pleas Judge Edward C. Wright ordered him to serve two years of probation and to make restitution of $916 in total to the 12 neighbors whose tires he was convicted of slashing over several months in 2012. Wright told a crying Toledo that he had “agonized” over the sentence and cited the German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s concepts of social order and moral responsibility before handing down the sentence.

The article does not specify which formulation of the categorical imperative, if any, was invoked by the judge. Story here.

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Thom Brooks
6 years ago

I published an article when a grad student about the citation of philosophers by the US Supreme Court — and it’s more frequent than you might think — http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=881521Report