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Lecture 2

SOC2700 WEEK 2 chapters 2 and 5.doc

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SOC 2070
Norman Dubeski

September 10: The Historical Emergence of Crime Explanation Chapters 2 (pp. 14-18) and 5 (pp. 93-97) CHAPTER 2 PAGE 14-18 Beccaria: -proposed a simple model of human choice that was based on the rational calculation of costs and benefits -punishments should be proportional to the seriousness of offenses so that that cost of crime always exceeds its reward -his ideas were accepted by intellectuals and some reform-minded individuals -his ideas spread to the rest of the industrialized world after the American and French Revolutions -how he thought the criminal justice system could be made just and effective: • role of legislatures should be to define crimes and to define specific punishments for each crime • role of judges should be to determine guilt, and then follow the law in determining the punishment • seriousness of a crime should be determined by the extent of harm that it inflicts on society; other factors, such as intent, are irrelevant • purpose of punishment is to deter crime and therefore should be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime • punishments are unjust when their severity exceeds what is necessary to achieve deterrence • excessive severity not only fails to deter crime but actually increases it; people are driven to commit additional crimes to avoid punishment for a single one; places and times that had most severe punishments had horrible and violent acts committed, the people follow the tone set by their leaders to act violently • punishments should be prompt to avoid added torment of uncertainty and to make a stronger connection in them ind of the offender between the crime and the punishment • punishments should be certain; a moderate, certain punishment is a more effective deterrent than a harsh punishment with the hope of impunity • laws should be published so the public is aware of them and can support their intent and purpose • capital punishment should be abolished and replaced by imprisonment, jails should be more humane • law should not distinguish between the rich and the poor -modern classicism includes 3 strands of theory and research: • looking at the deterrent effect of criminal justice policies • rationally calculating potential offenders respond to opportunities to commit crimes and these opportunities are systematically related to the "routine activities" by which people live their lives' policy response is to limit criminal opportunities • how offenders in particular situations calculate their costs and benefits; policy response is to change situations to influence an offender's calculations -classical criminology was a protest against spiritual explanations of crime and the policies that came out of it; the state claimed moral authority to torture the criminal/sinner Thomas Hobbes: -substituted naturalistic arguments for the spiritualistic arguments of people like Aquinas, who thought people tend to do good rather than evil -argued that people pursue their own interests without caring about whether they hurt anyone else; "each against all" -people realize that each against all is not good, so they agree to give up their own selfishness as long as everyone else does; this is called the social contract -the state's job is to act as an enforcement mechanism for the contract; everyone who agrees to the contract grants the state the right to use force to maintain the contract CHAPTER 5 PAGE 93-97 Chapter 5-Crime and Poverty Historical Background: Guerry and Quetelet -first annual national crime statistic were published in France in 1827 (50 years after Beccaria wrote his book that formed the basis for Classical criminology) -rates of cr
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