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Lecture 3

SOC 1500 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Enrico Ferri, Murder, Undercover Cops

Course Code
SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

of 9
Crime & Criminal Justice- Lecture 3
Explaining Crime (Theory)
Concepts- building blocks of theory
Variables- concepts that vary (independent and dependent) dependent-
Hypothesis: statements that show a relationship between particular
Individualistic Theories of Criminal Behaviour
Myths & Legends- untrue stories about people who do wrong things and face
consequences (to keep people in line)
Demonic perspective: supernatural forces drive people to do wrong things
Witch Craze
Modern Witch Hunts
Classical School
Beccaria & Bentham- Enlightenment
Hedonism: aim for pleasure, avoid pain or harm. We can calculate the risk
of our behavior (consequence)
Free will: we do what we please
Social contract: give up hedonism for social order
Utilitarianism: looking at the greatest good for the greatest number of
Profit: punishment should overweigh the profit
Seriousness: the greater seriousnesss of the offence, the greater the
Discouragement: punishment for smaller offence
Value: Punishment shoukd have value to the person who is going to be
Consistency: same punishment across offences
Neo-classic Theory
Self-Control Theory (Gottfredson)
Calculations: people calculate risks and benefits differently based on their
own social constraints
Characteristics: We can identify people on how they view gratification and
self-control (ex. People who need immediate gratification are more
likely to be criminal
Self-Control: people with less self-control are more likely to be criminal
Nature of Crime: most crimes has no long term benefit
Characteristics: little or no planning in crimes, little skill is required, often
done spontaneously
Opportunity: Crimes require both opportunity and lack of self-control
Deterrence Theory (people calculate the risks of their behavior, greater
punishment= greater discouragement)
Absolute Deterrence- when the penalties are so quick and so terrible no
crime will ever take place (ex. Parking in a handicap spot)
Relative Deterrence- we reduce crime if we make it more difficult or risky,
or control it better (ex. Restricting the age of alcohol consumption
and purchase and the times it is sold)
Cross-Deterrence- restricted one crime so much, that it causes another
crime to increase
Deterrence Theory:
Restrictive Deterrence – when people avoid criminal acts because of the
punishment (ex. Drug dealer avoiding Narks- undercover cops)
General Deterrence- when you have a demonstration effect (seeing other
people punished causes prevention) ex. Public hangings
Specific Deterrence- when it directly affects the person (the experience of
being punished makes you not want to commit the crime again)
Capital Punishment
First degree murder (defined): 1) planned and deliberate 2) during another
offence 3) on-duty peace officer
Research: tells us that capital punishment is not a deterrent
Findings: 1)Innocent – we do have innocent people that are convicted
2)Discriminatory-usually poor and ethnic minorities have a greater
chance of ending up on death row 3) Circumstantial- some people
are convicted on circumstantial evidences alone (no direct evidence
but it “only seems reasonable”)
Capital Punishment
Canada 1) History- we had capital punishment, abolished in 1976, replaced
with life sentences 2) Extradition- we do not allow extradition if the
death penalty is the claim
USA 1) States- 2) Juveniles- executed 23 minors 2b)Public polls- indicate
that it acts as a good
Juveniles & Capital Punishment
Count (2000)
Lewis (1988)- 40% cases
Head injuries- many of the juveniles had head injuries
Neuropsychological disorders
Psychiatric disturbances
Legislation- all of these are taken into account
Roper v. Simmons (2005)
Supreme court decision- Abolished juvenile capital punishment
Eighth Amendment
Reversal- 72 death row cases were reversed
Adult status
Individualistic theories: biological
2. Move to Science William Lombroso (1835-1909)
Atavism- when you have an evolutionary throwback: when people in their
appearance are more primitive. Criminals are lower in the human
evolutionary scale
Criminals: 1) Females are more evil but are natural passive
Expert witness: he was an expert witness who observed the subject/accused
to determine if he is atavistic (based on his physical appearance)
Enrico Ferri (wanted a more sophisticated approach to differentiating good
and bad)
Born or instinctual- those who are born with criminalistic tendencies
Insane- those whose body chemistries have changed (ex. Skitzo)
Passional- heat of the crime (passion crimes)
Occasional- people who drift in and out of criminality out of opportunity
Habitual- Career criminals that don’t look the part but act it, not born but