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Lecture 3

Crime & Criminal Justice- Lecture 3.rtf

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SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

Crime & Criminal Justice- Lecture 3 Explaining Crime (Theory) Theory- Concepts- building blocks of theory Variables- concepts that vary (independent and dependent) dependent- outcome Hypothesis: statements that show a relationship between particular variables Individualistic Theories of Criminal Behaviour Myths & Legends- untrue stories about people who do wrong things and face consequences (to keep people in line) Contemporary 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 Punishment Utilitarianism: looking at the greatest good for the greatest number of people Punishment Appropriate: Profit: punishment should overweigh the profit Seriousness: the greater seriousnesss of the offence, the greater the punishment Discouragement: punishment for smaller offence Value: Punishment shoukd have value to the person who is going to be punished 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 Gratification: Self-Control: people with less self-control are more likely to be criminal Critique 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 deterrence Juveniles & Capital Punishment Count (2000) Gender Age Race/Ethnicity Victims Gender Race Lewis (1988)- 40% cases Head injuries- many of the juveniles had head injuries Neuropsychological disorders Psychiatric disturbances Abuse 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) Types: 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 influenced Policy & Criticism Policy Criticisms 1) Isolation- if you are a born criminal your are isolated 1) Methodology- only looked at people serving life sentences and not those who are free roaming 2) Eugenics- prevent criminals from breeding (sterilization) 2)Methods- how do you determine the environment 3)Definition of Crime- crime is socially constructed (what is considered a crime differs regionally) 4) Causes Modern Biological Theories 1)Hooton (1887-1954) Hereditary deviance – believed in a criminal gene 2)William Sheldon Somatotypes- your body type can influence the type of personality you have Somototypes 1) Mesomorphs- athletic, well-built: aggressive, outspoken. More prone to criminality 2) Endomorphs- large, soft and round types of people: easy-going, social, high need to be liked. Might engage in criminal activities to be liked 3) Ectomorphs: slender built: nervous, keep to themselves, awkward: not likely to commit crime Revisited: XYY Man “Monster Myth”: More aggressive Socio-biology E.O. Wilson (1970s) Focus 1) genetics & selfishness- every behaviour we behave in is essentially to make sure that our genes survive, our behaviour is unconsciously programmed Human goal: reproduction Gender roles: men are promiscuous because of the drive to reproduce Problem: people who remain childless by choice, homosexuals, etc DNA Forensic science: the scientific met
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