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Lecture 8

SOC 1500 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: John Wayne Gacy, Home Invasion, Friends House

Course Code
SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

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Street crime (conventional)
oOffenders can be anyone, job doesn’t matter
oResponsibility in on you
oViolent crime and property crime (theft, break and entering, vandalism),
homicide, assault, criminal justice system … street crime more likely to be
enforced than with white collar crime
White collar crime (offenders are middle and upper class, its part of their
occupation that allows them to commit the crime), related to prestigious
occupation that provides you with opportunity, individual (individual perpetrator
the corporation is the victim such as embezzlement) or corporate (victim tends to
be consumers and the perpetrator is organization or corporation), not dealt with as
much, civil court (sue), dealt with internally (you resign)
Social dimensions of crime
Have relationship to conventional crime
Correlate is an association between one type of crime and another
Correlation doesn’t equal causation but means there is a relationship between two
Sociological (social class, gender, age) (who is more likely to be arrested, move
through the funnel) doesn’t mean they commit more crimes but move through
system better than others
AGE – violent and property offences committed mostly by younger people (18-24
is the peak), high victimization levels as well (especially young males), more
likely to report crime (self0-report)… explain why young people commit more
crime – they are able, move better and faster than older people, not in prestigious
occupation in your twenties so no white collar crime, young people are over
policed so they have greater surveillance and less trust from the system, police
more likely to stop and arrest a younger person than an older person, lack
experience which allows you to avoid detection, expected to be rebellious (more
troublesome, a problem which requires extra policing), peers play an influence in
your life in the sense that peer pressure encourages you to break the law
Demographics shows you how the crime rate changes (baby boomers)
SEX – the most important predictor of crime, males are more likely involved in
crime than females, crime rate for males exceeds women, exception is infanticide
(its only a crime that women can be charged with – it is when you kill your child
under age of 12 months, hormonal changes after giving birth which causes mother
to kill child, just because you kill your kid doesn’t mean its infanticide, physc
institution is the result), biologically males are more agile, strength, socialization
(females learn to be compliant and are rewarded for it and non aggressive while
males take more risks and are more aggressive which they get rewarded for while
women re punished), parent supervise daughters more so males get more freedom

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and provides opportunity for more risks and for them to be aggressive (put in
situation where crime is more possible such as being out in the streets late at night
and girls are not allowed to do this), varying opportunity (less supervision and
control, women are restricted in opportunity to commit crime, less women can
commit white collar crime because its harder to get the job, at home you are not
able to commit crime)
RACE/ETHNICITY – certain races are over-represented (African Americans in
the US and Ontario) in Canada aboriginals are over represented (both as suspects
and as victims, particularity homicide), certain areas differ in over representation
(prairies have highest crime rate overall)… explain: culture conflict (over policing
Aboriginals) , economic inequality (poor moves you through the system and
aboriginals are more likely to be poor), discrimination (targeting particular
groups), demographic
The death of a human being, someone other than victim is the cause of
oFirst degree – planned or deliberate, killing of police office,
commissions of crime (killing someone is commission of another
crime ex. Killing someone during a robbery), life in prison without
possibility of parole for 25 years (can be indefinite for some)
oSecond degree – murder that is not first degree, responsibility of
the Crown (prosecutor cant prove first degree so they choose
second), can be 5-20% of homicide, 25 years with possibility of
parole prior to 25 years
oMost common
oCrime that occurs in heat of passion, immediate reaction
oYou cannot leave the scene (woman stabbed husband, bathed kids
and came back so its no longer in heat of moment and they had
time to think so its first degree)
oCan be accidental (fighting and they died)
oSentence can be life but usually 8-15 years
oBy willful death of admission kills child under 12 months
oLess than 2%
oMothers only because its chemical imbalance due to giving birth
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