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Lecture

Class 4 - Classical Criminology.docx


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 1301
Professor
Carolyn Gordon

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Class 4: Classical Criminology: From Supernatural to Natural Explanations
Do You Agree or Disagree?
Offenders make (personal) choices about committing crimes based on
anticipated rewards
Individuals will decide NOT to commit crimes when the risks are too high or
the rewards are not adequate
Status
Through pain
Revenge
Sense of belonging, honour, accomplishment
Emotional
Fame
Life During the 18th Century: Economic/Social Context:
Shift from Feudalism to modern nation state
A system which is based on the few people (lords or barrens) having
much power, wealth, and land
It was a system based on oppression
Majority of power was within the few
Minority had much power, and majority had more power
Shift from economy based on agriculture to the Industrial Revolution (1750-
1850)
Rural populations moving to larger cities
Need disciplined workers
New forms of social control
Shaming no longer effective
Ideas of Protestant Reformation
Scientific Explanations
We are capable of discovering why & how things happen
We can use science & reason to discover those rules that govern behaviour
(of both the universe & man)
The Enlightenment (1650-1800): Intellectual Context
Reason is idealized
Doctrine of free will
They had the ability to make decisions if they had free will
Humans are hedonistic
Hedonistic: if it feels good, do it
Individuals were pleasure machines, therefore, they wanted to
maximize pleasure and minimize pain
Natural rights exist and must be protected by the rule of law
The idea that the role of the state is to insure that individuals in
pursuit of their happiness doesn'tt hinder and affect others happiness
Man is naturally rational and good

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What is Social Contract?
An imaginary agreement where in people freely give up some of their
individual autonomy and right sin order to ensure their own safety and well
being of the entire group
What was the Justice System like during the Middle Ages?
Critique of Criminal Justice during the 18th Century
Capital punishment
Negative effect
Reluctant to convict
Deterrent effect??
Transportation
What to do with all the prisoners??
Jails
Industry $$
Breeding grounds
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
- In 1764 he published his book essay of crimes and punishments.
- He criticizes the system in his book
- He believes it is very cruel, inhumane and unfair
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
Principle of Utilitarianism
Behaviour which decreased happiness should be punished in society
An idea that in society we have a bond and when it is broken it is
essential to be a form of punishment
Hedonistic Calculus
4 dimensions:
Intensity
Duration
Certainty: how certain it is that the pleasure will be obtained
Immediacy: how soon will be achieved
What was the goal of punishment?
Deterrence
By sending a message to the general public of what can happen
to you if you obtain criminal behaviour
3 Components:
In order for deterrence to happen it has to be 3 components:
Proportionate
Certain
Swift
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Social Control and Order
Laws
While people are essentially free, living together with some laws
produces a more happy life
Substantive Law
Tells us what sorts of behaviour ought to be considered criminal. Ex.
Criminal code
Procedural Law
Describes how law enforcement agents have to act when dealing with
an effect
Establishes limits to the degree that government can use its power
Crimes
Breaking of social contract and promise to society
Classification
Crimes against the state, against the citizen or their property, against
public tranquility
Explanation of Criminality:
Hedonists
Rationality can be held accountable
Laws
According to the social contract, the offender has agreed that state is
authorized to punish
Laws must be written, widely available and understandable
Laws must apply to all equally
No ex-post facto legislation
Punishment
Judges determine guilt only
Focus only on the actus reus
Punishment determined by legislator
Punishment is to ensure that society continues
Punishment must be rationally calculated
The Death Penalty
For or against?
Barbaric
Contrary to social contract
No general deterrence
Need disciplined workers
Administrative of Justice
Establish procedural guarantees
Avoid torture & secret accusations
Right to speedy trial & to present evidence
Right to jury trial
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