SOC209H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cultural Relativism, Social Fact, Endangerment

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7 Jan 2015
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Crime: by definition, a breach of law, without the involvement of the justice system, it is not a crime, defined in strict legal terms, unlike deviance, appears straightforward and uncontroversial. Legal conditions for crime: the act must be legally prohibited at the time it is committed, mens rea, the perpetrator must have criminal intent, guilty mind, actus reus, the perpetrator must have acted voluntarily, guilty act. Individual violates a law simply by lacking the appropriate case and attention about something she/he is doing: ex: speeding on an empty lot but someone ended up being there, you did not know of. Beyond a legal definition: crime is fault and blameworthiness in behaviour and mind, appears straightforward, but legal definition is narrow. 3: economic, social, cultural and political realities, criminalization as a process. Ignores social processes, separate legal process from social context: 4-5% of criminal cases go to trial, the rest go to plea bargains.

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