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Crime&Punishment What constitutes a crime? Not merely acts which Not merely acts which are socially deviant Not merely acts which are immoral Not merely.

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Presentation on theme: "Crime&Punishment What constitutes a crime? Not merely acts which Not merely acts which are socially deviant Not merely acts which are immoral Not merely."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Crime&Punishment

3 What constitutes a crime? Not merely acts which Not merely acts which are socially deviant Not merely acts which are immoral Not merely acts which are immoral

4 Is Prostitution a crime?

5 Are these crimes? Unknowingly entering /overstaying in Singapore without legal documents Unknowingly renting out a room/premises to a person entering Singapore illegally

6 Definition of crime Against the law Against the law A wrongdoing classified by the state as such A wrongdoing classified by the state as such

7 Types of Crime Serious crimes/felonies Serious crimes/feloniesmurderrape armed robbery housebreakingkidnapping

8 Capital Crimes In Singapore, murder murder kidnapping kidnapping possession of drugs possession of drugs possession of firearms possession of firearms treason treason Trial held in the high court /supreme court

9 Murder First degree (a capital crime): Intentional/wilful Premeditated Second Degree / Manslaughter Unplanned Committed in the heat of the moment (e.g. crimes of passion)

10 Drug Trafficking In Singapore Capital Offences: Possession of 15g heroin 15g heroin 500g cannabis 500g cannabis 30g cocaine 30g cocaine Constitutes 70% of capital crimes Constitutes 70% of capital crimes 32 executions annually 32 executions annually 15g cocaine

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12 Serious offences (mandatory caning) More than 30-40 crimes, including Rape & statutory rape Molest Vandalism Illegal entry into /overstaying in Singapore Attempted murder Attempted murder Armed robbery Armed robbery Drug trafficking Drug trafficking Repeat drug offenders Repeat drug offenders Repeat drunk driving Repeat drunk driving

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15 Non-Serious Crimes Offences/ Misdemeanors Parking offences Parking offences Shoplifting Shoplifting Vagrancy Vagrancy Begging Begging

16 Grey Areas Are these crimes? Prostitution Prostitution Oral Sex Oral Sex Abortion/Euthanasia Abortion/Euthanasia Cloning of humans Cloning of humans Suicide is a crime in Singapore punishable by imprisonment Suicide is a crime in Singapore punishable by imprisonment Knowingly/unknowingly passing on the Aids virus through unprotected sex Knowingly/unknowingly passing on the Aids virus through unprotected sex

17 Other Ways of Classifying Crime Sex Crimes Rape/ Statutory Rape Rape/ Statutory Rape Molest Molest Outrage of Modesty Outrage of Modesty Possession of Pornographic Materials Possession of Pornographic Materials Public Nudity Public Nudity Unnatural sex (oral sex, sodomy) Unnatural sex (oral sex, sodomy) Indecent Acts Indecent Acts Soliciting Soliciting Living off the immoral earnings of a prostitute Living off the immoral earnings of a prostitute

18 Have a break! Video Clip: Child Prostitution

19 Child Sex Crimes In Singapore Consensual sex with a girl Consensual sex with a girl under 14 : statutory rape under 16 : sex with a minor Patronising child prostitutes overseas: laws currently under review Patronising child prostitutes overseas: laws currently under review Singaporeans form the largest group of sex tourists in the Riau Islands Singaporeans form the largest group of sex tourists in the Riau Islands

20 Child Sex Crimes Internationally: penalty for patronising child sex prostitutes overseas: penalty for patronising child sex prostitutes overseas: 30 countries, including the US, UK and Australia: imprisonment for paedophiles 30 countries, including the US, UK and Australia: imprisonment for paedophiles

21 Non-Violent Crimes White Collar Crimes White Collar Crimes e.g. embezzlement, infringement of copyright laws, insider trading etc Cyber Crime Cyber Crime eg. Hacking, phishing online fraud

22 Juvenile Crime In Singapore, 2003, Youths: 20% of all offenders Youths: 20% of all offenders Main crimes: Main crimes: shoplifting, other forms of theft & rioting 70% of young offenders:males Under 14, not charged but sent for reformation Under 14, not charged but sent for reformation Offenders under 16 cannot be caned. Offenders under 16 cannot be caned. Offenders under 18 cannot be executed Offenders under 18 cannot be executed (Source: Speech by Minister for Home Affairs: Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Feb 2004)

23 Property Crimes Crimes against property vs Crimes against a person e.g. Vandalism vs Wife abuse

24 Causes of crime - Biological factors Genetic make-up e.g. XYY genes, too much/too little serotonin etc ? Testosterone ? Issues Personal responsibility? Discrimination?

25 Causes of crime - Psychological causes Types of Mental Illnesses Psychopaths Schizophrenics Kleptomaniacs People suffering from hallucinations

26 Causes of crime - Sociological Family parental neglect poor role models dysfunctional families

27 Peer pressure Teens need to belong to an in-group Causes of crime - Sociological

28 Unemployment Poverty Poverty Desperation Desperation

29 Causes of crime - Sociological Social Injustice Wide gap between rich and poor Sense of unfairness

30 Causes of crime - Sociological Mass Media Copycat crime e.g. violent movie: Child’s Play and case of James Bulger Glorification of violence: Glamorous bad guys Absence of /lenient punishment Violence seen as part of everyday life Values: materialism, women as sex objects

31 Crime Rates in Singapore 2002: per 100,000 Total Crime Total Crime 1/5: Switzerland, 1/5 : US Murders Murders 1/5 : Switzerland, 1/9: US Rapes Rapes ½ : Switzerland, 1/10 : US From 8 th UN Survey on Crime Statistics & Singapore Police Force Statistics U.S. Leads Richest Nations In Gun Deaths BY CHELSEA J. CARTER

32 Singapore: Low Crime Rates Possible reasons Draconian laws: capital punishment, caning, long jail sentences Efficient/incorruptible police force/legal system Strict banning of firearms Strict censorship laws? Meritocratic system with large middle class High levels of education

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34 How should society respond to those deemed to have broken the law ?

35 WITH PUNISHMENT!

36 PUNISHMENT “inflicted on an offender because of an offence he has committed; it is deliberately imposed, and not just the natural consequence of a person’s actions. The unpleasantness is essential to it, not an accidental accompaniment to some other treatment.” “inflicted on an offender because of an offence he has committed; it is deliberately imposed, and not just the natural consequence of a person’s actions. The unpleasantness is essential to it, not an accidental accompaniment to some other treatment.” … as observed by Stanley Benn

37 JUSTIFICATIONS OF PUNISHMENT Backward looking Forward looking RetributiveDeterrence Rehabilitation Incapacitation

38 RETRIBUTIVE Lax talionis “an eye for an eye”, “a tooth for a tooth” Lax talionis “an eye for an eye”, “a tooth for a tooth” The offender should suffer at least equally to the victim – proportionate punishment The offender should suffer at least equally to the victim – proportionate punishment Resets the moral balance by punishing the offender Resets the moral balance by punishing the offender Is it just revenge dressed up in nice clothing?

39 Have a break! Video Clip: Execution in North Korea

40 DETERRENCE DETERRENCE Works as a disincentive Works as a disincentive Deters people from committing crimes they would otherwise commit Deters people from committing crimes they would otherwise commit Does it deter those who are chronic/ repeat offenders? Does it deter those who are chronic/ repeat offenders? Most crimes, are committed on impulse by offenders who rarely calculate the consequences of their actions. Most crimes, are committed on impulse by offenders who rarely calculate the consequences of their actions. (British Crime Survey Research 1998) (British Crime Survey Research 1998)

41 REHABILITATION Core concept = the criminal being changed in ways that makes him less likely to commit crimes Core concept = the criminal being changed in ways that makes him less likely to commit crimes Goal = to change the offender's attitude to what they have done, and make them come to accept that their behaviour was wrong Goal = to change the offender's attitude to what they have done, and make them come to accept that their behaviour was wrong A matter of making the criminal a morally better person? A matter of making the criminal a morally better person? More than 70% of young offenders are reconvicted within two years of release. (British Crime Survey Research 1998) (British Crime Survey Research 1998)

42 Incapacitation Imprisonment has the effect of confining prisoners, physically preventing them from committing crimes against those outside, i.e. protecting the community Imprisonment has the effect of confining prisoners, physically preventing them from committing crimes against those outside, i.e. protecting the community Most dangerous criminals may be sentenced to life imprisonment Most dangerous criminals may be sentenced to life imprisonment Sexual offenders, eg. serial rapists, may be subjected to castration Sexual offenders, eg. serial rapists, may be subjected to castration

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44 TYPES OF PUNISHMENT “Execution…not because it holds life in low regard but precisely because it holds the lives of those that the murderer dispatched in such high regard…” “Execution…not because it holds life in low regard but precisely because it holds the lives of those that the murderer dispatched in such high regard…” John Stuart Mill Punishment Corporal PrivativeCapital/ Death penalty

45 METHODS OF PUNISHMENT Custodial sentence Custodial sentence Fine Fine Alternative sanctions (community service or training orders) Alternative sanctions (community service or training orders) Supplementary sanctions (disqualification from driving) Supplementary sanctions (disqualification from driving)

46 ALTERNATIVES TO PUNISHMENT Restorative- focuses on repairing the harm Restorative- focuses on repairing the harm Reparation Reparation -Enforcing efforts at making amends for the offence -The offender works to make amends for the offence he has committed RetributionRestorative

47 ALTERNATIVES TO PUNISHMENT Rehabilitation Rehabilitation -treatment programmes/ counselling -the offender is being changed in ways that makes him less likely to commit crimes -conferencing Probation and after-care service Probation and after-care service

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49 THE DISTURBING PICTURE 2.1 million Americans in prisons and jails 2.1 million Americans in prisons and jails 3700 Americans currently on death row 3700 Americans currently on death row 98 executed in USA in year 2000 98 executed in USA in year 2000 Appropriate punishment for white-collar crimes/ serious corporate crime Appropriate punishment for white-collar crimes/ serious corporate crime Punishing parents vs Punishing kids Punishing parents vs Punishing kids “getting tough” vs. “softening hearts” “getting tough” vs. “softening hearts”

50 SOME ISSUES IN CRIME & PUNISHMENT

51 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Otherwise known as the death penalty Otherwise known as the death penalty Definition: Definition: the lawful infliction of death as punishment

52 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Background: Background: ancient times eg. crucifixion of Christ medieval Europe eg. burning of witches reforms in late 1700s in Europe – movement towards ‘humane’ execution – hanging, lethal injection currently, used for serious crimes eg. murder

53 Overview of death penalty in 2004 3,797 prisoners were executed in 25 countries 3,797 prisoners were executed in 25 countries 97% of all known executions took place in China (3,400), Iran, Vietnam and USA 97% of all known executions took place in China (3,400), Iran, Vietnam and USA 120 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice (recent egs. Philippines, Senegal, Canada, Mexico, Bhutan, Greece) 120 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice (recent egs. Philippines, Senegal, Canada, Mexico, Bhutan, Greece) 76 countries retain and use it 76 countries retain and use it (From Amnesty International)

54 Methods of execution Electrocution Electrocution Lethal injection Lethal injection Hanging Hanging Shooting Shooting Beheading Beheading Stoning Stoning

55 Have a break! Video Clip: death penalty

56 Arguments for death penalty Deter perpetrators – would-be murderers fear being caught Deter perpetrators – would-be murderers fear being caught Protect society - convicted murderers prevented from killing again Protect society - convicted murderers prevented from killing again Provide justice for victim – a life for a life Provide justice for victim – a life for a life

57 Arguments for death penalty Is state’s responsibility – to preserve order, to right wrong Is state’s responsibility – to preserve order, to right wrong Is more humane than alternatives – life imprisonment is a “living tomb” Is more humane than alternatives – life imprisonment is a “living tomb”

58 Arguments for death penalty “Following the prison spokesman's announcement that Ted (Bundy) was officially dead, sounds of cheers came from the jubilant crowd and fireworks lit the sky. Shortly thereafter, a white hearse emerged from the prison gates with the remains of one of the countries most notorious serial killers. As the vehicle moved towards the crematorium, the surrounding crowd cheerfully applauded the end of a living nightmare.” “Following the prison spokesman's announcement that Ted (Bundy) was officially dead, sounds of cheers came from the jubilant crowd and fireworks lit the sky. Shortly thereafter, a white hearse emerged from the prison gates with the remains of one of the countries most notorious serial killers. As the vehicle moved towards the crematorium, the surrounding crowd cheerfully applauded the end of a living nightmare.” From www.crimelibrary.com www.crimelibrary.com

59 Have a break! Video Clip: Death Penalty - Mistake

60 Arguments against death penalty Is barbaric – against human rights, state- sanctioned murder Is barbaric – against human rights, state- sanctioned murder Does not deter crime – no substantial proof of decreasing crime rates Does not deter crime – no substantial proof of decreasing crime rates Takes innocent lives – eg. Timothy Evans, prejudice against certain groups Takes innocent lives – eg. Timothy Evans, prejudice against certain groups

61 Arguments against death penalty Has high costs – cases time-consuming Has high costs – cases time-consuming Has no possibility of rehabilitation Has no possibility of rehabilitation

62 Death penalty in Singapore According to UN, Singapore has the highest execution rate per capita of 13.57 executions per 1 million people (1994 to 1999) According to UN, Singapore has the highest execution rate per capita of 13.57 executions per 1 million people (1994 to 1999) Hanging for murderers, kidnappers, drug traffickers (>15g heroin, >30g morphine/cocaine, >500g cannabis) Hanging for murderers, kidnappers, drug traffickers (>15g heroin, >30g morphine/cocaine, >500g cannabis) Majority of executions were for drug offences estimated 70%) Majority of executions were for drug offences estimated 70%)

63 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY Definition: Antisocial or criminal acts performed by juveniles Definition: Antisocial or criminal acts performed by juveniles Treated separately from other crimes eg. in Singapore, there’s the Juvenile Court Treated separately from other crimes eg. in Singapore, there’s the Juvenile Court

64 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY Rationale for punishment includes: Rationale for punishment includes: rehabilitating and reforming removing from undesirable surroundings promoting his/her welfare

65 Punishment options for juveniles Commit offender to care of relative/ fit person Commit offender to care of relative/ fit person Offender’s Parent/ Guardian to execute a bond Offender’s Parent/ Guardian to execute a bond Community service order Community service order Probation order Probation order

66 Punishment options for juveniles Detention/ Weekend detention Detention/ Weekend detention Approved school order Approved school order Reformative Training Centre Reformative Training Centre Payment of fine, damages, costs Payment of fine, damages, costs

67 Concerns in juvenile cases Balancing juvenile’s welfare and compensating victim/ victim’s family Balancing juvenile’s welfare and compensating victim/ victim’s family Who should be held responsible – juvenile, parents, society? Who should be held responsible – juvenile, parents, society?

68 Concerns in juvenile cases Age definition of a juvenile – in Singapore, it is a child under 14 or a young person below 16 Age definition of a juvenile – in Singapore, it is a child under 14 or a young person below 16 In very serious crimes such as murder, should there be harsher punishments ie. should juveniles be treated as adults In very serious crimes such as murder, should there be harsher punishments ie. should juveniles be treated as adults

69 The murder of James Bulger (1993) Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were tried as adults even though they were 10-year olds. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were tried as adults even though they were 10-year olds. Controversially released in 2001 following European Court on Human Rights ruling Controversially released in 2001 following European Court on Human Rights ruling Was justice served? Was justice served?

70 USE OF SCIENCE Forensic science: The application of science to questions of interest in the legal system (and also archaeology and the social sciences)

71 USE OF SCIENCE Mass media: Sherlock Holmes and, of course, CSI and its offshoots. Mass media: Sherlock Holmes and, of course, CSI and its offshoots. Many specialities: computer, toxicology, psychiatry, othodontology Many specialities: computer, toxicology, psychiatry, othodontology

72 DNA testing Also known as genetic fingerprinting or DNA profiling Definition: Techniques used to distinguish between individuals of the same species using only samples of their DNA

73 DNA testing Process: extract DNA from cells in samples, cut DNA into fragments, treated to make a film with a visible pattern of bands or markers Process: extract DNA from cells in samples, cut DNA into fragments, treated to make a film with a visible pattern of bands or markers

74 Benefits of DNA testing/science Useful for identification of missing persons/ victims, and crime investigation Useful for identification of missing persons/ victims, and crime investigation DNA can be extracted from almost anything DNA can be extracted from almost anything Highly sensitive eg. only need a single hair Highly sensitive eg. only need a single hair

75 Benefits of DNA testing/science Unambiguous, factual, objective Unambiguous, factual, objective Has acquitted innocent suspects and exonerated wrongfully imprisoned convicts Has acquitted innocent suspects and exonerated wrongfully imprisoned convicts

76 Drawbacks in using DNA testing/science Just another piece of evidence, need to use with other evidence and consider circumstances Just another piece of evidence, need to use with other evidence and consider circumstances Forensic evidence can be planted or faked Forensic evidence can be planted or faked

77 Drawbacks in using DNA testing/science Depends on the criteria used/ level of technology eg. how many bands or markers to use in DNA fingerprinting Depends on the criteria used/ level of technology eg. how many bands or markers to use in DNA fingerprinting Can wrongfully convict an innocent person Can wrongfully convict an innocent person Can infringe on civil liberties Can infringe on civil liberties

78 PRISONERS’ RIGHTS Part of human rights and civil liberties Part of human rights and civil liberties Includes prison conditions, rights to medical treatment, protection from assault, legal representation and rights of privacy Includes prison conditions, rights to medical treatment, protection from assault, legal representation and rights of privacy

79 PRISONERS’ RIGHTS Balance between prisoners’ rights and rights of their victims/ victims’ families/ public safety eg. keeping identity and new locations of released criminals secret Balance between prisoners’ rights and rights of their victims/ victims’ families/ public safety eg. keeping identity and new locations of released criminals secret

80 Rodney King, eg of police brutality Videotaped being beaten by LAPD officers in 1991. Officers were charged but acquitted in 1992, verdict triggered massive rioting in LA Subsequently officers charged with violating King’s civil rights

81 THE END Thank goodness!


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