CRM/LAW C144 Lecture 4: Morality and Culpability (04/13/17)

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University of California - Irvine
Criminology, Law and Society

LECTURE 4 Thursday, April 13, 2017 Morality and the Law The failure to criminalize is not the expression of a favorable value o Does this mean that anything thats not criminalized is moral? The issue of protecting legal rights o Does this mean the government is favoring or endorsing a position, because its not illegal? (e.g.) pornography, as long as it doesnt involve children, is legal 1 amendment rights its legal Its important to protect legal rights Should we use criminal law as an expression of morality? Bowers v. Hardwick Questioning the constitutionality of the Georgia statute, saying that sodomy is illegal o Any sodomy the actual gender of the parties involved is irrelevant o Any oral or anal sex Bowers is the state attorney general for Georgia, representing the legality of the law, and Hardwick is the one caught in the act o Originally, the district attorney was not going to bring this to a jury o But Hardwick wanted to test the law, so he presses it He challenged the law in the state At the Supreme Court, they say that based on JudeoChristianity, they dont protect homosexuality because its immoral o Most of the states at that time (1986) had laws against sodomy Times have changed, and values have changed quite a bit (e.g.) Griswald v. Connecticut very specific laws on sex Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Same scenario but how they got the cops on the scene was that a neighbor called a gunfire that ensured that they would arrive on scene quickly o The cops show up and they find the parties engaged Expanded the Georgia idea to expand using other objects o The Texas statute defines deviant sexual intercourse as: (A) any contact between any part of the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, or (B) the penetration of the genitals or the anus of another person with an object Ruled that the Texas statute was unconstitutional o Minority position rather than a majority position Disregard the JudeoChristian morality of constitutionality
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