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The Study of Crime SOC 112 Part 8. Study, cont. 1. Study: crime / criminals / law is ancient - historically: explain behavior of criminals a. Cause of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Study of Crime SOC 112 Part 8. Study, cont. 1. Study: crime / criminals / law is ancient - historically: explain behavior of criminals a. Cause of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Study of Crime SOC 112 Part 8

2 Study, cont. 1. Study: crime / criminals / law is ancient - historically: explain behavior of criminals a. Cause of crime - biological / psychological / economical / sociological - biological / psychological / economical / sociological - more than trying to understand “why” - more than trying to understand “why” b. Analyze: some acts crimes / others not - definition: must be precise / usable - definition: must be precise / usable - clarify: who is a criminal / who is not - clarify: who is a criminal / who is not

3 Study, cont. c. Crime: act defined by law - “An intentional act or omission in - “An intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law, committed violation of criminal law, committed without defense or justification, and without defense or justification, and sanctioned by the state as a felony or sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor.” misdemeanor.” (1) Act or omission (actus resus) (1) Act or omission (actus resus) - central philosophy - central philosophy - must be an act or failure to act - must be an act or failure to act

4 Study, cont. - Jeremy Strohmeyer / David Cash - Jeremy Strohmeyer / David Cash - act must be voluntary - act must be voluntary (2) Intentional / intent (2) Intentional / intent - act or omission: in itself not enough - act or omission: in itself not enough - law requires: mental thought - law requires: mental thought - “mens rea”: guilty mind (Latin) - “mens rea”: guilty mind (Latin) (a) Exceptions: (a) Exceptions: - employers / felony murder rule - employers / felony murder rule

5 Study, cont. (3) In violation of criminal law (3) In violation of criminal law - must be written (statutory) - must be written (statutory) - actions considered criminal - actions considered criminal - show penalty - show penalty (4) Without defense or justification (4) Without defense or justification - no defense / not in danger - no defense / not in danger - no justification for actions - no justification for actions (5) Sanctioned: (5) Sanctioned: - felony / misdemeanor - felony / misdemeanor

6 Study, cont. (a) Felony (a) Felony - death / at least year + day prison - death / at least year + day prison - fine: $10,000 or more - fine: $10,000 or more (b) Gross Misdemeanor (b) Gross Misdemeanor - up to one year in jail - up to one year in jail - fine: to $5,000 - fine: to $5,000 (c) Misdemeanor (c) Misdemeanor - up to 90 days in jail - up to 90 days in jail - fine: to $1,000 - fine: to $1,000

7 Study, cont. 2. Crime - violation of a written law - four characteristics a. First: a crime against the state - more serious crimes (felony) - more serious crimes (felony) - misdemeanor: crime against the person - misdemeanor: crime against the person b. Second: law must be specific - explain what act is criminal - explain what act is criminal - public must know - public must know

8 Study, cont. c. Third: c. Third: must be uniformly applied - cannot be certain person / class - all subject to law d. Fourth: contain penal sanction - provide a punishment - no law without a penalty

9 Study, cont.  D. The legal approach ► - persons not charged / convicted ► - legal technicalities ► (1) 1,000’s of laws  - cannot regulate all behavior  - provide standards / goals / guidelines  - letter of the law / intent of the law  - minor crimes / infractions

10 Study, cont. (2) Purpose of criminal law? - regulate criminal activity - regulate criminal activity - illegal acts of society - illegal acts of society - crime is part of our culture - crime is part of our culture - need to protect society - need to protect society (a) Control acts (a) Control acts - society determines unlawful - written laws with penalties

11 Study, cont.  (3) Actions believed immoral? ► - morality: more difficult to control ► - alcohol / drug use / sexual behavior ► - referred to: victimless crimes ► (a) Edwin Schur defined: ► “The willing exchange, among adults, of strongly demanded but ► illegally proscribed goods or ► services.”

12 Study, cont. ► (b) Lack of public consensus ► - gambling / prostitution / drugs ► - lack of apparent harm to others ► - difficulty in enforcing ► - absence of a complaint / low visibility


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