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FCND PART I: INTRODUCTION (CHAPTERS 1 AND 2) CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Outline What is Crime? Types of Crime What is Criminal Law? Normative Systems Changing Times, Changing Laws? What is Criminology? The Evolution of Criminology Codified Laws and Prescribed Punishments The Emergence of Classical Criminology (1700s) The Emergence of Positive Criminology (1800s) The Precursors of Sociological Criminology (1800s) The Emergence of Criminology as Its Own Discipline A Word About Theory Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
What is Crime? Tappan’s (1960) definition: “an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law (statutory and case law), committed without defense or justification, and sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor” What constitutes a crime varies by time and place Drinking age in the UK versus the US and drinking age in the US over time The prescribed sanctions (punishments) for crime vary widely The death penalty is used in 36 states and at the federal level and in those 36 states, what crimes can get the death penalty vary Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Types of Crime Four ways to classify crime by type 1. Mala in se versus mala prohibita crimes Mala in se crimes are inherently bad These are the worst of the worst crimes (murder, rape, robbery, theft) and are universally condemned as wrong and deserving of punishment Mala prohibita crimes are bad because they have been designated as such Examples include drug use and prostitution and are illegal in certain places and during certain times Whether these actions are considered wrong and deserving of punishment depends on whether they have been called crimes Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Types of Crime Four ways to classify crime by type (cont.) 2. Felonies versus misdemeanors This allows us to categorize crimes by their seriousness Felonies are considered more serious and this is reflected in the prescribed punishment In LA, the punishment for a felony includes death or imprisonment at hard labor Felonies also carry longer sentences than misdemeanors A sentence of one year or more of incarceration is reserved for felonies Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Types of Crime Four ways to classify crimes by type (cont.) 3. Violent versus nonviolent Violent crimes involve the actual, attempted or threatened use of force against a person; the use of a weapon may be involved Examples include murder, rape, robbery Nonviolent crimes do not involve the use of force against a person and can include both property and public order crimes Examples include burglary, prostitution and drug use Even though these crimes are not violent, they can be classified as felonies and carry long prison sentences Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Types of Crime Four ways to classify crime by type (cont.) 4. Personal versus property crimes Personal crimes include murder, rape, robbery, assault and domestic violence Property crimes involve the theft or destruction of property Personal crimes are considered more serious than property crimes But property crimes can result in prison time Some crimes are both personal and property crimes E.g., armed robbery Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
What is Criminal Law? Before there was a such thing as law, how was behavior regulated? Maine (1876): groups of families form primitive societies and those families with status control the behavior of others through caprice Sumner (1906): people’s habits and society’s customs that satisfy basic needs are called folkways Over time, folkways come to regulate the behavior of subsequent generations Some get stronger, some change, some fall away as unimportant They are VERY culturally specific (polite habits and customs in one society may be abhorrent in another) Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
What Is Criminal Law? A formal criminal law comes into existence when society has an interest in proscribing or prescribing and punishing certain acts Our modern laws have a direct connection to the Law of the Twelve Tables from Rome in 450 B.C. When we think about the creation of laws, we should think about who creates them and why Chambliss (1974): those with special interests and political power may pass laws that support their interests and punish the activities of those in opposition Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
Changing Times, Changing Laws? Laws often remain on the books long after their relevance has passed Examples of sodomy, treason, misprision of treason and criminal anarchy in Louisiana Why is this so? Legislators rarely vote to remove laws from the books for fear of being labeled soft on crime When new laws are passed, there is an increase in the number of activities that are considered criminal Copyright © 2013 Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.
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