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SOC205H5 (139)
Lecture 2

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Zachary Levinsky

Lecture 2 January 16, 2013 Classical theory and Beccaria  Criminology (Schissel)- consensus research on who the criminal is , policy/governmental research  Executing a perfect justice system or improving it from what it is now and get people to be law abiding (discourage people from going against the law)  Criminology as a science that could solve the problem of crime  Belief there is agreement on what a criminal is  Power differential- street vs. non-street crime that is examined and studied  Enlightenment ideals; European phenomenon that things can be done rationally and you can approach problems rationally (time of Beccaria writing) o Idea that you can map out human behavior using mathematical models o Individual behavior was a calculus ; we anticipate consequences and calculate outcomes (rational beings) and we are generally good people o Utilitarian perspective ; seek pleasure and avoid pain o Idea that we all have free will and we choose what we do o Apply to the criminal justice system; can answer the problem of crime (crime control is attainable) o Protest piece- trials by ordeal  **Beccaria difference between criminal and non-criminal: grey area between them; commit a crime if it is in our best interest to do so On crimes and punishment (1764)  Why punish?- the end of punishment is no other than to prevent others from committing the life offence o Not about retribution or the criminal deserved the punishment o **preventing others from committing that crime  Proportionality- degree of the punishment, and the consequences of crime, ought to be so contrived, as to have greatest possible effect on others, with least possibly pain to delinquent  Beccaria on death penalty and torture- punishment should be proportionate to the crime and on some level punishment is about violence o Pg. 58 “if he be not guilty… “ o No man has the right to kill another man; not about one individual (the criminal) o Achieve prevention through certainty of punishment o Nobility not important – doesn’t matter who you committed the crime against (issue of class) “punishment are to be estimated, not by the sensibility of the criminal, but by the injury done to society” o Too severe punishments have opposite effect (Beccaria against severe punishment); a rational being knows severity of punishment o “in order for punishment not to be, in every instance, an act of violence of one or many against a private citizen it must be:  Essentially public (i.e. private trials for national security)  Prompt (in relation to how slow trials are in criminal justice system)  Necessary  Least possible given circumstances, proportionate to crime and dictated by laws” Classical theory today  Rational choice theory and routine activities theory rooted in classical theory o Routine activities theory- suitable target (i.e. laptop) and motivated offender (someone who needs laptop) and lack of capable guardians (left unattended) **reducing opportunity to commit crime** o Crime prevention as central  Schissel- determinations of culpability (system works when we think of individuals as rational beings- i.e. can’t be used when accused is intoxicated, using self-defense); things that impair free will (i.e. in first degree murdered who gets the most severe punishment for planning for murder)  Deterrence theory- o Severity- how harsh a punishment is (general belief that harsher punishments will reduce crime) **most important/talked about/emphasized the most** o Certainty- how likely you will be punished for committing an offence (likelihood of getting
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