Vote: Publish pending minor revisions
[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]
This is an interesting paper. The topic is important and has not been adequately studied. I voted to publish pending minor changes. I am hoping the author can address two issues:
The author treats violence and liability as interchangeable. I wonder if that’s true. Let’s say Bill’s wife, Jill, had an affair with Tom. Bill killed Tom, but not Jill. Using the author’s approach, Bill only held Tom responsible. But isn’t it possible that Bill held Jill equally responsible? Perhaps Bill spared Jill for reasons explained by Black’s theory. If Bill and Jill have been married for 10 years and have young children, then they are intimate and functionally dependent – factors that discourage violence. Isn’t it possible that Bill holds Jill equally responsible – equally at fault and equally deserving of lethal punishment – but wants his children to grow up with a mother? Let me put the issue another way. I can see how the presence of violence equates to liability, but I wonder if the absence of violence equates to the absence of liability. It would help to clarify.
The paper would be stronger if the author suggested a few concrete ideas for testing the proposed relationships.