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Lecture 3

Pre - Scientific Theories (Week 3).docx

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Queen's University
SOCY 275
Stacey Alerie

Deterrence of Crime Through Sanctions (Punishment)  Deterrence o Omission of a criminal act because of the fear of punishments  Foundation of the criminal justice system o Law enforcement exists to punish wrong doers and convince those who want to do wrong that there is consequences  Formation of laws  No evidence that criminal sanctions actually work o Crime still exists everywhere It is very difficult to measure the effects of deterrence works  So much occurs before deterrence actually occurs  Legal system cannot exploit human rationality effectively Pre Scientific and Classical Theories Myths, Stories and Fables  Descriptions of experiences rather than explaining. o Illustrations  Morality was at the heart of these descriptions o Convey what to do and what not to do  Consequences faced from not following norms  How for people to be normal and how not to be deviant o Moral instruction  Eg. Boy who cried wolf- don't lie Trickster Figure  Reflect society's uncertainty, ambiguous  Deviant in that they outwit authority o Break the rules, deceiving  Some level the deviant is still likable, we feel sympathetic  Upset moral order, deviant, but smart o Eg. Robin hood Demonic Perspective  Supernatural explanations o Explain crime and deviance, no longer a description  Crime was related to witches, demons, etc  Supernatural forces explained everything (failing crops, floods, etc)  Battle of good vs evil o One god- only one evil o Doing something bad was a bad deed and treasonous, going against religion, betraying  Christianity was dominant at the time  Possession and temptation, evil forces, the devil  Punishments o Death , exorcism  No empirical reality or evidence o Faith based arguments  The witch craze (1400-1700) o Contributing factors  Roman catholic inquisition  Christianity was taking hold  Anything that challenged the belief system was accused and convicted o Missionaries  Trying to force people to become Christian  Those who did not should be punished. o Malleus maleficarum o Hammer of the witches (book)  Supposed to explain how to deal with witches  Information based on informal sources, superstition, pieces of evidence  3 sections:  Witches are a danger  How to identify a witch  How to persecute them  Which torture you should use  Torture was used for confession  Forcing answers out of people - you could never win  Society was changing and challenging authority, women were taking in other roles  Questions we ask today stem from analytical model used in trying to describe witch craze  Challenged what was holy in society, everything that was good Classical theories  Replaced demonic perspective  18th century  Slow transition  Brought upon enlightenment o New ideas of human nature, social order  Enlightenment promoted empiricism, reason, rationality o Philosophes were challenging older theories  Egg. Hobbes,  War of all, against all  Looking out for ourselves and harm others for self interest  We enter social contract as peace treaty  Locke  We are all born without knowledge  Blank slate, tabula rasa  We are informed by social interactions  Voltaire  Greatest good for greatest number Classical theories  Tried to explain behaviour and improve the court and punishment systems  Jurisprudence o Consideration for the law and principles that govern the criminal justice system (court processes, decisions) o Someone is a criminal was guided too much self interests, consequence is best for the rest of society and is fair  Components of classical system o Some reasons why people might commit crime  Hedonism  People seek pleasure, avoid pain  Rational  People have reasons for their actions  Free will  People are free to choose  Social contract  Utilitarianism  Greatest good for greatest number o Explains why certain punishments were chosen o Deterrence  prevent punishment to make everyone happy  Punishment is suitable to the crime and appealed to rational calculation  Crime is a violation of social contract, a result of rational calculation (pros might have weighted out cons) free will Cesare Beccaria  Outraged by treatment of offenders
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