About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

58 Hous. L. Rev. 1015 (2020-2021)
That's Not a Burglary! Classic Crimes and Current Codes

handle is hein.journals/hulr58 and id is 1053 raw text is: ARTICLE
Andrew T. Ingram*
I will show that the definition of burglary in modern state
criminal codes deviates significantly from the ordinary idea of
what burglary is and what makes it wrong. These loosely written
burglary statutes can work significant injustices and are
responsible for counterintuitive real-world prosecutions that
would be laughable were the consequences for criminal defendants
not so dire. As journalists and defense practitioners have
documented, prosecutors in some states have been charging repeat
shoplifters with burglary, on the theory that, having been banned
for life from a certain chain store for shoplifting in the past, they
committed burglary by entering with the rest of the public and
shoplifting again years later.
Several costs result from poorly drafted statutes that sweep
in conduct that looks nothing like what a common person would
recognize as burglary. First, people may be charged with burglary
for minor conduct that would otherwise be a misdemeanor,
producing excessive and disproportionate sentences that violate
the internal logic of a criminal code that ranks crimes and indexes
punishments to crimes based on that ranking. Second, public
expectations are frustrated, and the rule of law damaged, when
* visiting Assistant Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law. PhD, 2018, The
University of Texas at Austin; J.D., 2013, The University of Texas School of Law; AB, 2009,
Brown University. Special thanks to my colleagues at Chicago-Kent, especially Christopher
Schmidt, Nancy Marder, Kathy Baker, Sungjoon Cho, Alex Boni-Saenz, Dan Harris, Doug
Godfrey, Steve Heyman, and Hal Krent, for sharing their insights and criticisms of my
paper at our workshops.


What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most