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Criminology Exam Review.docx

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CRIM 1650
James Williams

Criminology Exam Review1 Definition of CrimeLegalDefinition A crime is an act or a failure to act which violates the criminal lawTapan 1947 Crime is an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law committed wo defense or justification and sanctioned by the state Elements1Actus Reus end result product of your actionyour conductvoluntarily action or failure to actcriminal negligence and Mens Rea proofevidence of an actmust stndbe proved it was accompanied by a particular state of mind12 degree murdershow intent to kill individual2Defensesself defenseassault someonekill them as long as it is proved it was out of selfdefense Insanity defenseimpacts mens rea if youre suffering from mental disorderdelusional stateLimitations1Neglects harmful behaviour not sanctioned by criminal lawharmful activities not deemed crime violence against women smoking cigarettes corporatewhite collar crimeemployee operating machinery AND false advertisingNiveaMy Silhouette 2Ignores the social cultural and historical relativity of lawNeglects how criminal law varieschangesevolves over time How it varies across society and culture Drug legislation1900s no prohibitions against drug usefirst legislation in 1908homelessness 3Overlooks the process of law formation and the social political and economic interests at stake in this processmarijuana example tension bw whites and Mexicans politics involved to respond to the issue Consensus Definition A crime is an act which violates commonly held standards of public moralityBurgess 1950 A lack of public outrage stigma and official punishment attached to social action indicates that such action is not a violation of societys rules independent of whether it is legally punishable Elements1Society is characterized by a social and moral consensussimilar valuesbeliefs to what is appropriateinappropriate 2Definitions of criminal behaviour reflect common social values norms and beliefsagreement bw seriousness of diff crimesLimitations1Neglect of contextual variationseven the most severe acts homicide there are special situations in which killing another person wouldnt be considered a crimewar self defense execution assaultboxing fighting in hockey spanking2Whore moralityDiff groups of ppl have diff values sexual harassmentnot treated as a crime yet women believe it should behonour killingcultural practices acceptable wone jurisdiction but against norms in another3Absence of agreement as to what constitutes criminal behaviourdrug use Prostitution Pornography Squeegeeing Sexting ConstructionistDefinition A crime is a label that is applied by a public audience Becker 1967 Deviance is not a quality of the act a person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender The deviant is one to whom that label has been successfully applied deviant behaviour is behaviour people so label Elements1Behaviour is not inherently criminal2Whether a specific activity or behaviour is defined as a crime depends on a complex social process involving claimsmakers and moral entrepreneurs Claims makingactivities people defined as needing immediate attention New laws or tough penalties for existing offences Ex victim right group that argues stalking is a significant social problem and needs tougher laws around it as an offenceLimitations1Overly relativisticno independent standards or criteria by which the criminality of social activities can be judged 2Neglect of variables such as class race and gender and their influence on the ability to impose and resist criminal labelsproduct of being in the more powerful position opposing ones viewsunderstanding not much appreciation for the larger groups of power corporate offendersexecutivespowerful class positions and successful ConflictDefinitionA crime is an act prohibited by those in positions of social power as a means of protecting their own values and interests Definitions are used to maintain groups in positions of powerlike a tool or instrumentQuinney 1970 Crime describes behaviours that conflict wthe interests of the segments of society that have the power to shape public policyElements1Society is characterized by conflict rather than consensustensions bw groupsvery diff model of society2Defining crime is a political exercisewhat should and shouldnt be criminalized 3Definitions of criminal behaviour reflect the interests of the powerfulactivities that threaten those occupying positions of power are defined as illegal ex early 1900s prohibition of alcohol in the US2 Alcohol trade seen as a source of rdemploymenteconomic growth was a desperate need 3legitimacy of law was being questioned in particularfrom criminal to noncriminal
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