Presentation on theme: "Political and White Collar Crime"— Presentation transcript:
1 Political and White Collar Crime TerrorismCrimes of the Powerful
2 Terrorism Definitions Vary Widely “The use of violence to influence the political, social, or religious attitudes and/or behaviors of others”“Premeditated, politically motivated violence, designed to spread fear and perpetrated against civilians”“Defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).”
3 “START” DATANational Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to TerrorismUniversity of MarylandConvergence of several databases + new additions from mediaWhat qualifies:Intend to coerce/intimidate/convey message beyond immediate victimsAimed at attaining political/social/religious goalContext outside of legitimate warfareAlmost 100,000 terrorist incidents between 1970 and 201043,000 bombings, 14,000 assassinations, and 4,700 kidnappings
4 From START data Turbulence of late 1960s-1970s Terrorism events have declined substantially since the 1970sTurbulence of late 1960s-1970sLeft Wing (Weathermen) and Right Wing (White supremacists)The terrorist events that have occurred have been much larger in magnitudeOklahoma city bombingFirst WTC bombing9/11Roughly one half of terrorism cases world wide, and one-third in the U.S. remain unsolved
5 Terrorist attacks on U.S. soil Salmonella OK /11Poison WTC bomb
6 Types of Terrorism Domestic terrorism U.S. International terrorism Left Wing (Weathermen, Eco-Terrorism)Right Wing (Militias, Timothy McVeigh)International terrorism9/11 attackState terrorismAgainst domestic or foreign “enemies”German atrocities against Jews circa WWII
7 Terrorism and the Media Scholars have pointed out that there is a natural matchTerrorists depend on mediaUse event to coerce larger audience: high visibility targets, graphic acts, pre-event contact with media outlets, post-event videosMedia as a natural venue for terrorismDramatic, violent, visual, timely (vs. wars which are protracted, highly complex…)HIGH RATINGS
8 Response to Terrorism Difficult balance Aggressive response detection, deterrenceConcern civil rights, overreachingExamplesUSA Patriot ActWarrantless search and seizures, wiretapping, etc.Global War on TerrorInterrogation techniques, use of drones to assassinate, etc.
9 Situational Crime Prevention Reduce opportunities for offendingGains in technology, training, and enforcement techniques likely played a role in the reduction of terrorist attacksMonitoring of bomb-making materials, airport security, FBI stings, etc.
10 Boston Bombing in Context Domestic or Foreign?Media CoverageResponseSituational Crime PreventionPressure cooker bombs with kitchen timers26 mile course, densely packed with spectators
11 Crimes of the Powerful Organized Crime White Collar Crime Occupational CrimeCorporate Crime
12 Organized CrimeCriminal activity committed by groups with some manner of formalized structurePrimary goal is typically money and powerSome ambiguity hereStreet gangs versus drug cartelsTerrorist groups
13 Just how organized is it? The Alien Conspiracy Model (foreign criminals)Highly organized and centralizedSicilian “Mafia” (La Cosa Nostra) as poster childMafia code (loyalty, respect, discipline), secret oaths,Local, ethnic group modelStrong family ties and obligations related to kinship and ethnicityDistrust of outsiders and governmentCapacity for organization and cooperation among groupsAbility to cultivate good will of local residentsInfluence limited to cities/geographical areas
14 Crimes of the organized Illegal IndustriesGambling, narcotics distribution, loan sharking, extortion, insurance scams, fencing…Violence associated with enforcementLegitimate industryUsed to launder money + create monopolies + extortRestaurants/food, garbage disposal, garment manufacturing, labor unions, construction…PoliticalBribery, fixing elections, coercing agents of criminal justice, etc.
15 The Mafia Mafia is often used as general term Usually refers to Italian Americans (Sicilian)La Cosa Nostra (“our thing” in Italian)Fodder for entertainment media (Sopranos, The Godfather, Goodfellas)Famous New York crime families (Gambino, Genovese)Joseph Valachi testimony (1963) before the SenateThe organization and crime families do exist, but the level of organization often exaggeratedDoes “stand apart” because of its pervasiveness, control over illegitimate markets, and penetration into legitimate industry
16 Law Enforcement Methods HeadhuntingTarget heads of organized crime families, use informants + surveillance to indictSuccessful?Fairly successful at knocking off “heads” but still organized crimeOrganized Crime Control Act (1970)Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) StatutesProsecutor ability to provide witness protection
17 The Russian Mafia The new media darling Differences Law and Order, more recent moviesSimilar to Italian MafiaBoth began by extorting money from fellow immigrants and quickly moved into other areas, and both have reputation for violenceDifferencesLess cultural/ethnic loyalty, partnerships more opportunisticFewer “bosses” who collect a cut of illicit ventures, greater flexibility
18 White Collar Crime Edwin Sutherland “A crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”Urged criminologists to focus on crimes of the upper class, as opposed to street crime (still an issue today)What is “counted” countsSutherland’s study of 70 largest corporations: official records revealed over 980 law violations (fraud, bribery, antitrust)Much “War Profiteering”
19 More recent typology of WCC Occupational CrimeCrimes committed by individuals in the course of their occupation for personal gainTheft/embezzlement, medical fraud by physicians, therapist having sex with client…Corporate or Organizational CrimeCrimes committed by corporations (and their executives) for the benefit of the corporationOrganizations include small business and blue collar endeavors (auto repair shops)
20 Occupational Crimes Employee embezzlement and pilferage Collective embezzlementSavings and Loans crime wave in the 1980s (land flips)Professional FraudLawyers, PhysiciansHow many hours to bill clientsUnnecessary procedures and surgeries, Medicaid/Medicare fraud
21 Organizational Crime Many organizational crimes are “blue collar” Auto repair, appliance repair20/20 and 60 minutes stingsFraudulent businesses (roofing, blacktop)Small businesses
22 Corporate Crime Fraud, Cheating, Corruption The Enron Scandal Not alone—the most egregious of the 1990s/2000s eraHalliburton, WorldCom, Rite Aid, Adelphia…Enron = cooking books stocks price (overstate earnings, hide losses) + energy marketAccounting firm (Arthur Anderson) complicit the fraud31 people indicted (Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay)More on the “Great Recession” and bailout
23 Corporate Crime II Other financial Corporate Violence Price Fixing / Collusion (gas prices)False advertising (bait and switch)Corporate ViolenceUnsafe work conditions (miners, asbestos)Unsafe products (contaminated food)FORD PINTO CASE, PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, AsbestosPollution
24 Cost of WCC Cost MUCH higher than street crime $17 billion vs. roughly $400 billion16,000 homicides vs. 100,000 unnecessary deaths
25 What causes WCC? Lenience? Double standard embedded in culture—not “real” criminalsWeak/absent regulations –rely on “ethics” and self-regulationDifficulty in proving crime (complex, good lawyers, lack resources to prosecute)SEC over 10 years, 600 cases referred for prosecution, and less than 1/3 resulted in convictions with less than 1/6 resulting in jail or prison timeWeak punishment civil settlements with no admission of wrongdoingFines often less than 1% of corporate PROFITS for a year
26 IronyConservatives cry out for punishment for street crimes, but believe that much corporate “crime” can be cured by self-regulationLiberals decry harsh punishment, especially for non-violent offenders, but believe that WCC could be reduced greatly through prison timeCorporations more “rational” than individuals?
27 Psycho Corporations Psychopaths: Insensitive, Manipulative, Superficial charm, Above-average intelligence, Absence of psychotic symptoms, Absence of anxiety, Lack of remorse, Failure to learn from experience, Egocentric, Lack of emotional depthCorporations are not supposed to be compassionate or think of long-term consequences