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The Champion

September-October 2018 , Page 60 

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Book Review: The Prohibition Era and Policing: A Legacy of Misregulation

By Thomas J. Farrell

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The Prohibition Era and Policing: A Legacy of Misregulation

By Wesley M. Oliver
Vanderbilt University Press (2018) 


In The Prohibition Era and Policing: A Legacy of Misregulation, Professor Wes Oliver of Duquesne Law School gives us a delightfully written tour through the Prohibition-era roots of our current system of police regulation. He poses this question: How did the criminal justice system come to focus on regulation of search and seizure procedure rather than guilt and innocence or serious police misconduct, such as physical abuse and unwarranted shootings? The answer, according to Oliver, lies not in the orderly development of legal doctrine or even in the civil rights movement, but in public and judicial reaction against that misguided experiment in outlawing the sale of alcohol — Prohibition.

Before Prohibition, prosecutions of victimless crimes were rare, police departments small, and their investigative powers limited. Victims investigated most crimes and applied for search wa

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