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Biddle Law Library: Manuscripts Collection [Contact Us]
1941-1993 and undated
Bazelon, David L., Creator
Extent: 71.3 linear feet (212 boxes, about 15,000 items)
David Lionel Bazelon (1909-1993) graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1932. In 1936, Bazelon joined the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago, where he specialized in tax cases. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman appointed Bazelon to the newly-created United States Court of Appeals for the District Columbia, making Bazelon, at forty years old, one of the youngest people ever appointed to a federal judgeship. He served on the court from 1949 to 1984, acting as Chief Judge from 1962 to 1978. During this time the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was often considered the nation's second highest court. In his years on the court Bazelon was involved in decisions on matters ranging from the use of DDT to the definition of insanity. In the mid-1980s Bazelon stopped hearing cases and finally retired from the bench. He died on February 19, 1993, of Alzheimer's disease. The collection, 1941-1993 and undated, includes case files related to Bazelon's activities as judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, including case and subject files. The collection also includes papers related to Bazelon's organizational affiliations, speeches, lectures, and writings. The largest part of the collection comprises subject files related to Bazelon's legal and social advocacy activities, including issues related to mental health law. The collection also includes a series of personal and career files, as well as a selection of audiovisual materials.
Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives [Contact Us]
American Law Institute
Extent: 11 linear feet
The Model Penal Code, first completed in 1962 and revised and expanded over the next 20 years, played an important role in the revision and codification of criminal law. The Chief Reporter on the project was Herbert Wechsler. A Criminal Law Advisory Committee was established to provide the reportorial staff with guidance in the drafting of the Code. A Proposed Official Draft was published in 1962. This version generated wide response among legislatures and courts, prompting a revision and expansion of the code's commentaries that began in 1976. A final version of the Model Penal Code, with revised commentaries, was published in 1985. The Code proved to be particularly influential in the areas of jurisdiction, double jeopardy, responsibility, criminal attempts, theft, abortion, obscenity, sentencing, and capital punishment. The collection, 1942-1985, includes correspondence, meeting materials, proceedings, drafts, reports, reference materials, published versions, citations, and related records regarding the drafting of the Model Penal Code, which consolidated and codified previous legislation and judicial opinions related to criminal law.