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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) - Torture was unfair – confession might have nothing to do with innocence or guilt - If you were innocent, you were tortured anyway; if you were guilty, you were tortured toom usually twice - If you were guilty, but were able to handle the torture and did not confess, you received the same punishment as someone who was innocent - The death penalty was inappropriate people gave up certain rights when they joined society, but they never agreed that the state should able to kill them- Cesare Beccaria cont. - The presumption of innocence - Specific criminal codes - Limitations on severity of punishment - The duration of punishment as a more effective deterrent - Public (visible) punishment as more effective deterrent Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) - 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 behaviour - Involved notion of “determinism”, as opposed to “free will” or “rational choice” - Behaviour of criminals was pre-determined by their genes or evolutionary condition Cesare Lombroso - Founded and most prominent member of the Positive School - Interest in science, medicine and evolutionary theory led Cesare Lombroso in search of atavistic criminal – a degenerate throwback on earlier forms of evolution Enrico Ferri - Argued that free will did not exist - Placed greater emphasis on determining effects of social, economic and political factors Raffaele Garofalo - Crimes as being “against the laws of nature” - “Natural crimes” that violated the sentiments of “probity” and “pity” - Advocated elimination of criminals through incapacitation or execution Criminological Theory - Sacco and Kennedy describe criminological theories as general (rather than individual) explanations of why crime occurs - Good or “valid” theories should be logically constructed, and should be consistent with what we know about crime - Theories should also be falsifiable – we should be able to test or measure them Positivism and Determinism - Most theories discussed in Chapter 4 of The Criminal Event are positivist theories - Positivism = use of “scientific” methods to study and explain human/criminal behaviour - Involves a degree of determinism (i.e., the way people behave is due to circumstances beyond their control) Four Main Approaches - General pedigree studies o Look at people who are related to each other, to see whether they behave in similar manner o Assume that children of parents who engage in criminal behaviour are more likely to be criminal themselves, because they inherited their parents’ genes o If one brother is criminal, other brother should have higher chance of being criminal too, because of similar genetic make-up o Problems with Pedigrees  Difficult to say whether criminal behaviour caused by inherited tendencies, or by social environment  Unless raised in different family, with different parents, it could be argued that parents taught children that criminal behaviour was acceptable  Children may learn criminal behaviour by watching and imitating behaviour of their parents - Twin studies o Effort to avoid problems associated with general pedigree studies o Researchers study differences between dizygotic (DZ) and monozygotic (MZ) twins o DZ (fraternal) twins share only 50% of their genes; MZ (identical) twins share 100% of their genes o Concordance = the degree to which behaviour of the twins is similar or dissimilar o MZ and DZ Twins  Studies have suggested that if one MZ twin is criminal, the other MZ twin is more likely to be a criminal  DZ twin less likely to display the same criminal tendencies o Twins can be double trouble  Fail to take into consideration that most monozygotic twins are raised in similar environments, have similar social experiences  Because monozygotic twins look so much alike, they are also most likely to provoke similar responses from other people than dizygotic twins, who may not look as much alike - Adoption studies o Study identical (MZ) twins raised by different sets of parents, in different environments o Control for social class, child-rearing practices, and diet o Muddy waters  Most adoption studies have found relatively low rates of concordance  Sacco & Kennedy conclude there is “no real scientific basis for... the existence of a crime gene”  Others claim there is measurable degree of association between criminal behaviour of biological parents and their children put up for adoption at birth - Karyotype studies o Examine number, shape, size of chromosomes o Focus on existence of extra Y chromosomes, or XYY gene o XX chromosome determines gender in women; XY chromosome determines gender in males o The XYY Super Male  Relatively rare in the general population (one in 1,000)  More common in prison population (one in 100)  Little evidence to suggest that they commit more violent crimes than other males, or that they are necessarily more aggressive) o The Mesomorph  Sheldon’s 1949 work argued that mesomorph was most likely to become a criminal, or to engage in violent behaviour  The Gleucks’ 1950 study of 500 delinquent and 500 non-delinquent concluded that delinquent boys were in fact more mesomoprhic than non-delinquent boys o Crime and Human Nature  Wilson and Herrnstein claimed in 1985 book Crime and Human Nature that offenders tend to be shorter and more muscular than people in the general population  Herrnstein (2000, p.21) has continued to argue that offenders populations “are more likely to be mesomorphic (i.e., muscular, large-boned) o What S & K Say  Ignores the fact that many prisoners lift weights while in prison, thus explaining why they might be more muscular than average  Stronger, more muscular individuals often come out on the winning side of fights, and end up being categorized as the aggressors  Less muscular individuals often come out on losing end of fights, and come to be viewed as victims Intelligence and Crime - Hirschi and Hindelang reported in 1977 on six (then recent) studies indicating taht IQ was as least as important as race and social class in predicting delinquency - Lower IQ could have negative effect on school performance - Could lead to increased risk of dropping out - Dropping out could lead to increased risk of not acquiring marketable work skills Five Different Hypotheses - The school failure hypothesis o Learning disabilities may contribute to school failure o Becomes frustrating and self-perpetuating o Student may become angry and aggressive as a consequence o Ends up being identified by teacher as “troublemaker” - The susceptibility hypothesis o Learning disabilities may result in impulsiveness, inability to engage in long-term planning , and inability to see consequences of certain actions - The differential arrest hypothesis o Individuals with learning disabilities more likely to be arrested, because they are less able to conceal their criminal activities, less able to interact effectively with th
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