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SOC 1500 (763)
Lecture 3

SOC 1500 Week 3

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Semester
Fall

Description
SOC 1500 Week 3 Individualistic Theories of Criminal Behavior Non-Scientific  Myths & legends  Contemporary (Hostelmovie)  Demonic Perspective o Someone committed a crime because they were „compelled‟ to do so through supernatural forces or tempted by possessed person.  Witch craze o Women were targetedwomen who had lives outside of the norm  Modern Witch Hunts o A specific group being targeted as being bad or negative  A need to be controlled o Cold war  Communists black listed Classical School Beccaria & Bentham – Elightenment Hedonism  Seek pleasure and avoid pain and any kind of harm  We can calculate the risk of our behavior o If I engage in this behavior, what kind of pain will result in that Free will  Anything we choose to do, we want to do Social Contract  We want social order more than we are interested in our social pleasures Punishment Utilitarianism  We should only act in ways that bring about the greater good in the greater number of people Punishment Appropriate:  Profit o People shouldn‟t benefit from committing crimes  Seriousness  Discouragement  Value  Consistency Neo-Classic Theory Self Control Theory (Gottfredson)  Calculations o How one calculates the risks and benefits will be different than someone else SOC 1500 Week 3  Characteristics o People will differ in how they essential see gratification  Gratification o Some people need immediate gratification=less control, more likely to be criminal  Self-Control o Those with low self control are more likely to be criminal Critique  Nature of crime  Characteristics o Little or no planning=often done spontaneously  Opportunity Deterrence Theory  Absolute deterrence  Relative deterrence  Cross-deterrence  Restrictive deterrence  General Deterrence o Demonstrate why people should not behave in a specific behavior o People seeing other people get punished o Public hangings  Specific Deterrence o Directly affects the person o Experience of being punished makes you not want to commit the crime again Capital Punishment  First degree murder o Murder that happened that was planned or deliberate o Prison personal, custodian, police officer are killed=first degree murder o If it happens in the commission of another crime  Someone dies when you rob or kidnap them  Research o Capital punishment is NOT a deterrence  Findings SOC 1500 Week 3 o Innocent o Discriminatoryethnic and poor minorities end up on death row  Interracial murders o Circumstantial  Canada o History-1892-1962  Death by hanging (710 people) o Extradition  Replaced with mandatory life sentence without parole  USA o 38 states authorized the death penalty o 23 states executed children o 366 juveniles were executed from 1971-2003 Juveniles & Capital Punishment  Count o All were male o Most were 16 when they committed the crime o Over 60% were racial minorities (majority African American)  Victims o 60% were females o 80% were white Lewis(1988)- 40% Cases  A lot had head injuries  65% had neuropsychological disorders  Half had psychiatric disturbances  A lot had assault or sexual abuse  Legislation Roper v. Simmons (2005)  Supreme Court decision o 5/4 decision have abolished execution of juveniles  Fought it to the Eighth Amendment  Reversal o Reversed 72 cases  Adult status Individualistic Theories: Biological Move to Science  Actual move towards science in explaining why people commit crime  WILLIAM LOMBROSO (father of criminology) o Medical doctor who worked in Italian prisons o Very influenced by Darwin and his theories of evolution o Concept: ATAVISM SOC 1500 Week 3  Evolutionary throwback (people in their appearance are more primitive)  People who appear they haven‟t evolutionized  Criminals are lower in the evolutionary scale=more prone to committing crimes  Malesprotruding foreheads, closer eyes, appear big and tall  Femalescloser to atavistic origins than males, have more evil tendencies but we‟re naturally passive so we wont commit crimes o He was often brought to court as an expert witness  He would say if they were atavistic=they did commit the crime  People appearing more criminal Enrico Ferri (student of Lombroso) Wanted a better way of distinguishing between bad and good people Types  Born or instinctual o Atavistic  Insane o Did not look like criminals but labeled as insane o Body chemistry changed or was different in some way  Passional o Commit crimes from passion or heat of the moment  Occasional o People who drift in and out based on circumstance and opportunity o Wont look like criminals  Habitual o Don‟t look like criminals but act like it o Could be influenced by born criminals Policy & Criticisms Policy  Isolation-lock you up, and isolate you form rest of population  Eugenics- crime is biological=prevent you from reproducing Criticisms  Methodology o Only looked at people for serious crimes and already in prison o What about the people who committed crimes but not convicted? o Bias in selection of people  Methods o Some methods were limited o How do you control for environment, class, and opportunity?  Definition of Crime o Crime is socially constructed, so when you define it socially it can differ over time and differ in different cultures o Not all criminals were there for murder SOC 1500 Week 3  Causes o Environment, psychological, poverty (people stealing because they have nothing to eat)  All ignored when coming up with biological theories Modern Biological Theories Hooton (1887-1954)  Deviance was hereditary  There was a criminal gene  Looked at criminals and non criminals o Criminals were all prisoners, so didn‟t look at those not convicted William Sheldon (1950‟‟s)  Somatotypes o How our body types are related to our personality Somatotypes (sheldon)  Mesomorphs o Muscular, more aggressive, more assertive o More prone to criminality o If you play sports=most likely criminal  Endomorphs o Large, soft and round people o Easy going and social o High desire to be liked o Not criminal by nature but might engage in criminal activities to be liked  Ectomorphs o Slender, small and underweight people o Sensitive and keep to themselves o Not likely to commit crime  XXY MAN “Monster Myth” o 3 times greater in prison than in rest of population o Argued to be more violent and aggressive o Argument- many males with the extra X chromosome that are not in prison Socio-Biology Looks at the selfish gene-genetic origins or selfishness E.O. Wilson (1970s)  Genetics & Selfishness o Every decision and behavior is to make sure our genes survive  Human goal o Our behavior is unconsciously programmed to behave that way  Gender roles o Males are promiscuouslots of sex to make sure their genes are reproduced (why they engage in rape or aggression)  Problem SOC 1500 Week 3 o People who remain childless by choice o Homosexuals DNA  Forensic science o Scientific method to study crime scenes and evidence o Enabled police to apprehend offenders  Canadian examples o Wrongfully committed o Saved from evidence  Warrants (1995) o Allowed warrants to be issued to collect DNA (hair roots, saliva, blood) o Before 1995, it could not be collected legally  DNA Identification Act (Bill C-3) o NDDB o Collects and stores biological samples  Samples o From actual offenders or from crime scenes  Regulation o RCMP (federal police) NDDB Indexes  Crime scene that has been unsolved o Collect and store biological samples form crime scene so it could be solved later in time  Convicted offenders o Primary or secondary offences  Missing persons o Genetic profiles of missing persons collected from family o Unidentified bodies or body parts Offences  Primary designated offences o Most serious and violent o Aggravated sexual assault, serial murder  Secondary designated offences o Less serious Controversy  Expands State power o Few Canadians were told or even knew of the existence of the DNA act o State has more power over citizens and citizens have less rights than they used to  Presumption of innocence o If something is collected that should not be collected  Increase of surveillance of people o Watched on a biological level SOC 1500 Week 3  Time line is inappropriate o Kept indefinitely o If someone has done their time and completed sentence, then they shouldn‟t be able to keep their DNA on file Miscarriages of Justice (Wrongful Convictions)  Wrongful Convictions o Been deemed to be guilty of a crime you did not commit  Failure from state to respond/protect its citizens  Policy changes  Criminal Justice models o All citizens have rights, trying to prevent state form having too much power  Questions o Was someone‟s rights violated that led to their wrongful conviction o Raise questions about the legitimacy of our justice system and the people
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