William Stuntz, 1958-2011
12:00 AM, Mar 16, 2011 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Harvard Law School professor William Stuntz passed away on Monday at the age of 52. He was widely admired by faculty and students, but readers of THE WEEKLY STANDARD would know him better as an author of essays. In September 2006, at the lowest point in the Iraq War, in the face of ever-increasing calls for withdrawal, Stuntz called for a surge. In an article titled, "Will We Choose To Win In Iraq?," he argued:
He followed that up two months later with another call to surge, "Doubling Down in Iraq." And he wrote several other essays for THE WEEKLY STANDARD, on issues of domestic policy.
As Erin Sheley reported in an article last year, Professor Stuntz's contributions to the field of criminal law were so widely respected that Harvard Law School hosted a two-day symposium celebrating his work. And according to the obituary published today by the law school, Harvard University Press will posthumously publish his book on the collapse of America's criminal justice system.
Bill Stuntz's work was all the more impressive given that his last years of work were burdened by cancer. He chronicled his struggles with the disease on a law blog that he co-authored with Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel, posting reflections on the foreboding signs of cancer's spread, and meditations on the therapeutic value of work. In his final post, after another disappointment last August, he wrote:
We can only aspire to face mortality with even a fraction of the bravery and dignity that he did.