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Legal Commentary: The Volokh Conspiracy
By Eugene Volokh
I just heard this word for the first time, from a California criminal defense lawyer I know; it seems to be a purely California legalism ? the over 30 uses I found on Westlaw, starting with the mid-1980s but accelerating in the last ten years, all come from California.
Many sentencing schemes dramatically enhance a person?s sentence if he has been convicted in the past of certain kinds of prior offenses. A ?priorable? offense is an offense that can count as a ?prior? under such a scheme; the term is usually with some particular scheme, which is clear from context, in mind. There is also apparently an older meaning in botany, which refers to a term?s having priority for purposes of naming a newly identified species.
I?m not praising this term, or urging that it be used more broadly; but I thought it was worth noting.
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