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Chapter 7 Street Law Text pp

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1 Chapter 7 Street Law Text pp. 74-99
Crime in America Chapter 7 Street Law Text pp

2 Crime- something one does or fails to do that is in violation of a law.
Criminal law makes some acts criminal and some non-criminal. Legislatures [and others] make the laws that decide if an act is criminal or not. Acts are prohibited or required to protect life and property, preserve individual freedoms, maintain the system of government, and uphold the morality of society. Crime has always been a problem and there are many laws that deal with prohibited acts, it is societies job [through a legislature] to decide which crimes are severe and which are not so severe.

3 Problem 7.1 Assume you are a member of a commission established to evaluate laws. Consider the following acts. In each case decide whether or not the act should be treated as a crime. Then rank the crimes from most serious to least serious using the following scale: VS [very serious], S [serious], U [undecided], LS [less serious], NS [not serious], or NAC [not a crime]. a. Robert sells crack cocaine and uses the proceeds to support his mother, who receives public assistance. b. Marley is a passenger in a car she knows is stolen, although she did not participate in the theft of the car. c. A corporate executive gives a million dollars to a candidate for the U.S. Senate. d. A college student downloads music files for free, burns them onto a CD, and uses the CD at a party where she is a paid DJ. e. Paulina is caught with a pound of marijuana. f. Ella leaves a store with change for a $10 bill, knowing that she gave the cashier a $5 bill. g. Samantha approaches a man and offers sex in exchange for money. h. Ming refuses to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. i. A company pollutes a river with waste from its factory. j. Pat gets drunk, hits a child, injuring her severely, while speeding through a school zone. k. DeShawn observes his best friend shoplifting but does not turn him in. Extra- Wife finds husband messing around runs him over with her car Extra- Man robs liquor store at gunpoint

4 7.1 Expert Labeling Sells Crack, help support mom --VS
Rider in Stolen Car --NS but could be liable Exec. Gives $$ to Candidate --S Student downloads music --LS Pound of Marijuana --VS Leave store with wrong Change --NAC [unethical, immoral] Prostitution -- S [NAC in Nevada] No helmet --NS [NAC in some states?] Company pollutes River --S Drunk Driving hits kid in school zone --VS See friend shoplifting does nothing --NAC Extra Robs store at Gunpoint --VS Extra Affair, wife runs over husband --VS [affair NAC, immoral]

5 7.1 Expert Rankings Robs store at Gunpoint --VS
Sells Crack, help support mom --VS Drunk Driving hits kid in school zone --VS Affair, wife runs over husband --VS [affair NAC, immoral] Pound of Marijuana --VS Company pollutes River --S President lies under oath –hmmm Bill Clinton [S] Exec. Gives $$ to Candidate --S Prostitution -- S [NAC in Nevada] Rider in Stolen Car --NS but could be liable No helmet --NS [NAC in some states?] See friend shoplifting does nothing --NAC Leave store with wrong Change --NAC [unethical, immoral]

6 Problem 7.2

7 2010 3.5sec 5.1sec 14.6sec 42.8sec 25.3sec 35.6min 6.2min 1.4min 40.5sec

8 Experts say some possible causes for crimes in the United States are:
Poverty Permissive Courts Unemployment -Lack of Education Alcohol and Drugs -Inadequate Police Protection Rising Population -Lack of Parental Guidance Breakdown in Morals -Ineffective Corrections Influence of TV, Internet, Films, and Video Games Incarceration-being put in jail, imprisonment by the state Community Policing-citizens patrolling streets and reporting crimes

9 National Council on Crime and Delinquency [NCCD] recommendations for reducing crime
Build safer communities with special attention to safe schools, after school programs, community policing, and prevention of domestic violence and child abuse Reduce the costs and improve the fairness of the criminal justice system Develop cost effective alternatives to incarceration, reserving prison sentences for those who cannot be safely treated in community based programs Create effective drug control policies. Reduce funds spent on catching drug sellers and users; expand funding for drug treatment and job training; and repeal laws requiring mandatory prison sentences for drug possession

10 Problem 7.4 a. Not everyone agrees with the NCCD’s recommendations. Do you agree or disagree with their recommendations for reducing crime in the United States. Explain. b. What do you think are the thee most important causes of crime in your community? Why did you select these causes? How could crime be reduced? c. What steps should the federal government take to reduce crime? What steps should your state government take? What steps should be taken by our local government?

11 Guns and the Law Opinions obviously vary as to why and how guns play a role in crime and who is to blame for gun sales, and how to regulate the problem. MY OPINION– even if guns were outlawed totally, criminals would still have them…. Only law abiding citizens would follow the laws, just like things are today Problem 7.8 Which is a better way to reduce crime- more gun control or less gun control? What restrictions, if any, should the government place on the manufacture or firearms? The sale of firearms? The possession of firearms?

12 Substance Abuse and Crime
Substance Abuse- use and abuse of all different kinds of chemicals Alcohol Most widely abused substance in the United States because it is usually socially acceptable in our society Drunk Driving-general term for legal terms Driving Under the Influence & Driving While Intoxicated- which means operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater for adults and .02 for anyone under 21 years of age. Implied Consent-Driver agrees to submit to BAC test when they get license.


14 Substance Abuse and Crime cont.
Drugs Illegal drug use costs society billions of dollars a year Between 50 and 75% of all people taken into the criminal justice system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of their arrest The Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs based on medical use, potential for abuse, and capability to create physical or psychological addiction Recidivist- A repeat offender- Many states and the federal government now have strict punishment for Recidivist’s that break drug laws. Which has led to an overcrowding of prisons.

15 Problem 7.10 Are there any controlled substances that should be legalized [still allowing some form of government regulation and even fines]? If so, which controlled substances should be legalized? What are the most convincing arguments in favor of legalizing some controlled substances? What are the most convincing arguments against legalizing any controlled substances? How would society change if some controlled substances were legalized? Would these changes be good or bad?

16 Victims of Crime Crime affects everyone, but most of all the actual victims of a crime. Each year more than 24 million people, regardless of age, wealth, race, and ethnicity, are victims of crime. Restitution- Pay back or compensation, by criminals, to their victims. Victim advocacy groups are playing a more significant role in helping victims recover damages.


18 Preventing and Reporting Crime
Steps to reduce the risk of crime Report suspicious activity to police Always lock your doors and windows Be alert in high-crime areas such as dark, deserted streets and parking lots Use the “buddy system” Do not flash money in public If you witness a crime or have been the victim of a crime, stay calm and call the police Try to provide police with as much information as possible. Write down [record] details as soon as possible so you can relay that information You may be asked to file a complaint or to testify in court. Your help will assist the police in preventing future crimes If you become a victim You can give in or you can fight Understand your limitations if you choose to fight, you will risk injury, and if the criminal has a weapon expect them to use it. Many experts advise giving the criminal property if that is all they want Others recommend yelling, screaming, running, drawing attention [because most criminals do not want an audience Are you required to report a crime or render aid? only if your state has a law requiring you to do so… Nebraska does not… at this time only a few states do as part of their “Good Samaritan Law” and a few have been overturned and found unconstitutional

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