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Lecture

CRIM 101 Lecture #4

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Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 101
Professor
Adrienne Peters
Semester
Fall

Description
WEEK 4 September 28, 2012 Criminological Theory  General (rather than individual) explanations of crime patterns  Theories should also be falsifiable – we should be able to test or measure them  Logically construed  Based on evidence Before the Classical School  Presumption of guilt, unless proven innocent  Confession of guilt, or proof of innocence through inquisition **Torture  Physical torture as punishment for the few crimes that didn’t result in death penalty Cesare Beccaria  Torture unfair—confession may have nothing to do with innocence or guilt  If innocent tortured anyway; guilty tortured twice  Death penalty used at random  Founder of the Classical School Reforms:  Presumption of innocence  Specific criminal code  Limitations on the severity of punishment  Duration of punishment more effected deterrent  Public (visible) punishment as more effective deterrent Jeremy Bentham  People were rational, and exercised free will  Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certain action was more likely to result in pleasure than in pain The Positive School  Used “scientific” methods to explain criminal behavior  Involved notion of “determinism”, as opposed to “free will” or “rational choice”  Behavior of criminals was pre-determined by their genes or evolutionary condition Cesare Lombroso  Founder and most prominent member of the Positive School  Atavistic criminal- a degenerate throwback on earlier forms of evolution Modern Biological Approaches  Generally ignored in criminology  Recent resurgence based on idea that biology might predispose a person to criminal behavior, but the social environment has an influence on whether those predispositions result in crime Genetics  Idea that genes passed from parent to child result in criminal behavior  Nature vs nurture o Parents & children’s may share genes, but also share similar social environment Diet  Affects mental state and/or behavior  “Twinkie defense” – too much sugar can make a person hyperactive + aggressive  Vitamins and Omega-3s Intelligence & Crime  Lower IQ could have negative effect on school performance  Poor school performance leads to increased risk of delinquency 5 Hypotheses 1. The school failure hypothesis  Learning disabilities may contribute to school failure  Anger, frustration and aggressive as consequence  Identified as “troublemaker” 2. The susceptibility hypothesis  May result in impulsiveness, irritability and inability to see consequences of actions  Lead to delinquent behaviors 3. The differential arrest hypothesis  More likely to be arrested because less able to conceal criminal activities  Less able to interact effective w/ police b/c of poor social perceptions 4. The differential adjudication hypothesis  More likely to be convicted b/c they can’t understand/cope w/ complicated court proceedings 5. The differential disposition hypothesis  More likely to receive harsher sentence  School drop-outs  Less employable & appear to be at higher risk of recidivating The Psychopath  Often used to describe serial killers, sexual predators and other offenders we consider to be exceptionally dangerous  “Different” from “normal” people  Used interchangeably with “sociopath” and anti-social personality disorder  Not only criminals Evolutionary Psychology  Idea that people (& other organisms) evolve in ways that benefit them and this explains much human behavior  Male aggression: o Related to eliminating competition for females o Related to increased social status  Female aggression avoidance: o If she dies, the kids die Sociological Perspectives Social Structure & Anomie  Merton used term “anomie” to describe social strain—occurred in American society
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