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Lecture 2

SOC 3730 - Week 2

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University of Guelph
SOC 3730
Michelle Dumas

History and Cases in Court January 16, 2014 Crime Control – Goals Protection Protection of community, people and law abiding citizens Deterrence Deter people from committing crimes in the first place Punishment Harsher punishments in order to deter Longer punishments Make it so that people don’t want to commit crimes because they don’t want the punishment Motto “Commit the crime and you will be punished” Justice Efficiency As many people in and out of the system as possible Assembly line Greater and greater number of people to deal with Speed Move people as quickly through the system as possible Putting the majority of them in prison as possible in the extreme levels of crime control Fact finding Having rights interferes with the efficiency Fact finding is time consuming Crime Control – Assumptions Punishment Should be inevitable Certainty of punishment coincides with deterrence Mandatory minimum sentencing Presumption of guilt If charges are laid you must be guilty Guilty until proven innocent Officials Don’t make mistakes Trust officials because we know they want to protect us If they apprehend someone it is always for good reason Errors Officials know what they’re doing therefore no errors occur Legal rights Diminish individual rights; they get in the way of the efficient process Administration In conflict with protection of law abiding persons Crime Control Decisions Same punishments regardless of circumstances Precedents Challenges Fewer challenges; challenges disrupt the system and slow it down Discretion Allow legal officials a lot of discretion Assume they are not making errors therefore discretion is not a problem Trust their decision making; benefits the system Judges Legal technicalities can reduce the efficiency; resemble more administrative bureaucrats Input information and receive results and go with it Crime Control – Policies Police officers Increase the number of officers More officers, more likely they can apprehend criminals Provide agencies with more power Correctional facilities More facilities to house people Sentences Increase sentence length as part of deterrence as well as protection Death penalty Deterrence Deterrence Apprehend individuals who commit crimes Commit a crime and you will be apprehended and you will receive a severe punishment Crime Control Case example R v. Hall (2002 SCC 64) st 1 degree murder Tried to decapitate a woman and stabbed her 37 times Supreme Court Decision Denied bail on the basis of societies protections; decision was appealed and denied again Uphold societies confidence in their safety Due Process – Goals Protection Not just for protection of community of law abiding persons Protection for all who live in a society who are accused of a crime A way to limit the power of the state Prevention Prevent the conviction of innocent persons In tune with most peoples notions of justice Legal rights Enhanced rights keeps individuals from committing crimes Wrongful conviction Important equally that the state correct that wrong If something in the system is broken it needs to be corrected Emphasis On fairness and equality Justice in all stages of the system Can only occur if everyone is treated equally and everyone’s rights are protected Due Process – Implementation Treatment Everyone needs to be treated with fairness and have their rights protected regardless of crimes they may have committed Presumption of innocence Because the state has accused you of a crime does not make it true Presumed innocent until proven guilty Officials Officials can abuse their powers Possibility is there As people, can make mistakes – arrests, laying chargers, convictions Due Process Wrongful conviction High profile cases Help strengthen the system Example David Milgaard Steven Truscott Guy Paul Morin Officials David Marshall Racial profiling Judicial misconduct Crime control Rights Legal guilt Legally guilty not factually guilty Based on legal guilt not the way the facts are presented Due Process – Policies Limitations The methods of which the crown attorneys and judges have in the legal system Legal professionals Assure they cannot abuse the power given Fairness Ensure all people are treated fairly Case Example R v. Feeney ([1997] 2 S.C.R. 117) Murder suspect Arrest without warrant Searched him and found blood and arrested him Case Supreme court decision Restricted their powers of search Had no reason to enter persons trailer If suspected, warrant needed to be granted Public Pressure Liberal democracy Agents of social control Larger police forces in liberal countries not expected Explanation Public pressure can have an enormous impact in the way in which we set up our criminal justice system USA (1997-2002) Undue stress on the criminals Fear of crime Increase conviction rates 140% in comparison to 10% in other countries Highest prison population in the world 60-70% are there for minor drug related offences – “War on Drugs” Historical Egypt and Babylonia First courts in recorded history Religious rule Congruent in the most complex/urbanized societies Complex societies Courts emerged as a way to resolve disputes between people Government To have the courts and operate them Oversee and ensure justice Canada English Common Law All provinces except Quebec French Civil Law France – Quebec only Civil Law (Quebec) Roman Law Priests Only one who were allowed to have knowledge Weren’t written down, past down orally Written “civil code” (250 BC) Specific as possible No ambiguity No questioning or doubt of the way the law was intended Specific procedures that needed to be followed; in a way that all people would understand Jurists and judges Training Similar to law school – takes quite a bit of time 12 Tables – Roman Law I: Courts and Trials II: Civil Procedure III: Debt IV: Rights of Fathers V: Legal Guardianship VI: Acquisition and Possession VII: Land Rights VIII Torts I
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