Is the American criminal justice system dysfunctional? Our criminal codes are so voluminous that they bewilder not only the average citizen, but also the average lawyer. Our courthouses are so busy that they no longer have time for trials. And the American prison population now leads that of the world. Are these trends desirable, satisfactory, or disturbing? In order to answer that question, one must first be clear about the fundamental purpose of the criminal law. Fifty years ago, the distinguished Harvard law professor Henry M. Hart Jr. wrote his classic article entitled The Aims of the Criminal Law. In this volume, America's leading judges and scholars reexamine Professor Hart's thesis and the first principles of American criminal law.