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Cynthia Godsoe on Teen Sex Statutes

Season 1, Ep. 258

In this episode, Cynthia Godsoe, Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, discusses her 2017 article "Recasting Vagueness: The Case of Teen Sex Statutes," which was published in the Washington and Lee Law Review. Prof. Godsoe begins by orienting the listener to the concept of “vaguenets,” broadly written laws punishing common and largely harmless conduct. She then discusses the history and structure of juvenile courts in the United States and how they establish a system parallel to the adult criminal justice system that is, arguably, even more punitive. Professor Godsoe then discusses how employment of the vagueness doctrine can not only limit “vaguenets” such as teen sex statutes, but also be used to institute wider criminal justice reform. She concludes by giving a preview of her next related project, examining vagueness in the context of the child welfare and dependency system, to be co-authored with Carissa Hessick. Professor Godsoe is on Twitter at @cynthia_godsoe.

This episode was hosted by Maybell Romero, Assistant Professor of Law at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Professor Romero is on Twitter at @maybellromero.

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