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Felsons 10 fallacies about crime.docx

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CRIM 1125

Felsons 10 fallacies about crime - Dramatic fallacy o Strange/violent crimes to report/create drama around it o Murder makes up less than 1% of all crimes, but media makes it seem like it’s very common o Murders seem well-planned, grisly affairs, or solely on random chance o Most murders start as arguments that escalate into violence (so most crimes are not planned) o Most crimes = relatively minor property crimes - Cops-and courts fallacy o Police work made to look more dangerous and challenging than it is o Increased policing found to be of limited value o Most crimes are not reported, most of crimes that are reported are not solved by police o Very few elaborate court trials (charges dropped, plea bargaining, guilty plea) - “Not-me” policy o Most people don’t think they would ever commit a crime o But many people have shoplifted, smoked weed, joy-riding in car, impaired driving, etc. o Most people have committed crimes just did not get caught or end up with criminal record o We differentiate ourselves from criminals and yet most of us have committed a crime before or are tempted to - Innocent Youth Fallacy o Young people seen as pure and innocent o But teen years are the most active years for criminal activity o Majority of crimes committed by young offenders o Young offenders often more dangerous than older offenders - Ingenuity fallacy o Tendency to think criminals are more clever than they really are o But lightweight high value items have made crime even more simple o Most take little planning, little skill, and little time to commit - Organized Crime Fallacy o Tendency to view crime as more organized and con
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