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SOSC 1375 - Review for midterm (comprehensive notes from all lectures)

by Anu J
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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

- What is normal and abnormal? Who decides what is normal and abnormal? o Influences on normal/abnormal:  Religion  Society  What do we, as a society, believe to  Nature is the only thing that is “normal” - Rule of law = all people are equal under law o No one is exempt from the law o Everyone is equal - Moral panic = a disruption that threatens the social order of a society - Look at law as: o A regulator of morals o Containment (i.e. “don’t run a red light”) - Sample case: Clara Ford (1894) o Toronto, tiny apartment near Spadina/Adelaide o Early 30s + mulatto (one parent white, one black) + seamstress + unmarried o Clara Ford shot and killed Frank Westwood  18 years old, from a well-off family  She claimed that he raped her  Is that a reason to kill him? o No: two wrongs don’t make a right o Yes: self-defence o Maybe: she was half black and she wouldn’t be able to have access to the adequate justice system that everyone else does o Clara’s lawyer: F.B. (Blackie) Johnston  Got Clara to take back her confession:  Used her minority race o Said that the two white officers pressured her into admitting it wrongly  Played into the gender role o Gender assumption is that women are dumber than men o She said she didn’t know what she was doing and played the “oh-I’m-so-sorry” card o Tapped into jurymen’s ego (to be as protectors of the woman) o The prosecutor: B.B. Osler o Social norms  Certain ideas of what it means to be a woman - Sample case: Carrie Davies (1915) o 18-year-old English woman, servant in the Massey home  Young, white, British, innocent, hardworking, dutiful, dressed in dowdy clothing, dad died in war, had to support her mother and sister by working, virgin, family- oriented, had a boyfriend sent to war o Bert Massey: liked fast cars and had a reputation for womanizing o Hartley Deward: Carrie Davies’ lawyer o E.E.A. DuVernet: prosecutor  Said she was mental (that was the only “defence” they had left) o Key plays:  Give the jury the role of the parent  Treat them as mentors, and as the parent figure  Her father couldn’t take care of the family  Convince the jury to feel something, you have already one half the case  Portrayed as insane  Epileptic seizures - What is medicalization? o The modern era: much of what we see as the abnormal now becomes medicalized  Before, the was just an aberration departing from “the right path”  Now, there is no right or wrong path… it’s a medical problem regarding a medical solution  Medicalization of social problems o Medicalization as an alternate to criminalization - Sample case: Shafia Trial st o Dad, mom, son convicted of killing three daughters and aunt (1 wife)  First he tried to deny it  They insisted it was an honour killing  Dad testified that he would do it again  Wanted to be tried in a different system (under Shari’a law)  Based on the Qur’an  Mother said:  I’m a mother, I didn’t do this (hooks on to maternal instincts and assumptions about motherhood and being good) - Sample case: Colonel David Russel Williams o Weird and different = abnormal = away from society = can be a murderer  Fetish about wearing women’s underwear  Association with cross-dressers  Associate with strangeness, weirdness, oddities o Charged for two counts of murder - Psychopathology o Story of Bedlam Asylum  Pay to go to the asylum as entertainment  See the deprived, the luckless, the ones without the grace of God  To observe the disabled was to be reassured in the distinction between abnormal and normal  Restore confidence in one’s own mental state and normality  Creating the difference helps us know our “borderlines” - Criminal law o Canadian Criminal Code 1892 – Federal Government of Canada  Section 16: Defence of Mental Disorder  (1) No person is criminally responsible if you do / don’t do something due to suffering a mental disorder o To be penalized, you must understand the nature of the act (and it’s respective consequence)  (2) Every person is presumed not to be insane  (3) Burden of proof o Defence must prove that the defendant is insane o Balance of probability determines the accuracy  Only be convicted if there is no “shadow” or reasonable doubt present o Statutory law = body of law passed by legislatures  To bind all the people in Canada o Common law = judge makes the law  Based on other cases and norms  Based on precedent - Sample case: R. V. Deviault (1994) o Henri Daviault: chronic alcoholic was asked to get some alcohol for the friend of his wife  Friend was semi-paralyzed, 65-years-old, wheelchair  H Daviault bought a 40oz bottle of Brandy, woman drank half a glass and passed out, H Daviault finished the rest  H Daviault sexually assaulted the woman o Alcoholism treated as a disease now, medically o At trial, argued that he drank 7 beers prior to the visit at a bar and after finishing the bottle went into a blackout and couldn’t remember anything until he found himself naked in her bed  Argued that he was in automatism (state brought on by intoxication)  Therefore: couldn’t form general intent o Can such a defense be used?  Non-insane automatism - Sample case: R. V. Stone (1999) o In 1993 Bert Stone married Donna Stone, difficult relationship o In 1994: trip to Vancouver. Conflict. He drove to an abandoned parking lot. She yells and insults his sexuality. o At this point he claims that her voice began to fade away and a “whooshing” sensation came over him. Next thing he remembers is looking down at her body. She has been stabbed 47 times o At the trial in his defense, B Stone pleaded insane automatism, non-insane automatism, lack of intent and provocation. The judge allowed for a defense of insane automatism o He buried the body and went to Mexico and then came back and turned himself in o Jury convicted him of manslaughter and sentence him to 7 years in jail o Verdict appealed. Upheld by Court of Appeal. Supreme Court. - What’s the difference between our legal system between 100 years ago and now? o Medicalized ways of dealing with criminal culpability (responsibility vs. culpability) o We’ve shifted from moral vocabulary to medicalized vocabulary - Aboriginals in jail - Responsibility vs. culpability o Responsibility = responsible for the crime o Culpability = who will be blamed? - Law and society o All societies have laws  Doesn’t have to have a background/basis  Can be unwritten o Laws grow from customs, social behavior and norms  Discriminatory  Emerging from moral panic and societal issues  Law can be regressive in response to fear o Law draws a boundary of acceptable and not acceptable - Legal pluralism = two or more legal systems coexisting together in a geographic area o What is law?  Codified system of rules  Institutions of the state  Courts  Parliament  CSIS  Corrections institutions (prisons, police stations, etc.)  Normative order within a social group  Set of rules, and process through which those rules are enforced - The courts in Canada o 1996: Canadian Criminal Code amended (sec. 718.2e)  Overrepresentation of aboriginal people in jail  Specifically instructs judges to look for alternatives in imprisonment for aboriginal people (to “soften” the sentence) o Jails are inefficient (bad)  Swedish jails give massages and create “better” people (less criminal)  Separate society from the individual  Make better criminals  Criminal networking o Sample case: Gladue (1999)  19 years old, Aboriginal, birthday, pregnant  Though the boyfriend was cheating with the sister  Got drunk, stabbed the boyfriend twice, died  No previous convictions… minor one for drinking and driving  Courts have to decide what to do  Aboriginal women have a high level of re-offending  We should give her a different process than other Canadian women  Fair or not?  YES o According to readings, Aboriginals already face punishment in their communities so they shouldn’t be double-punished o Take into account the circumstances of the individual  She had kids and they would have to put her away  Makes more sense to not send her to jail o Create sense of equality because it would compensate for their differences and their attempts to assimilate with the Western court systems o Canada is multicultural and we should try to be culturally-specific o Not necessarily a lighter sentence, but just a different sentence - Aboriginal laws o Importance of Elders  Source of law in the community  Wisdom, life experiences  Socio-legal system based on elders o Healing: body, mind, spirit  If something was wrong or they did something wrong, they needed to be healed  Important for the person who did wrong, and for their community o Harmony as an overriding principle in disputes and Creation stories  Restoration of harmony is a basic principle  Emerged from original ancestry  Community-based  Lived off the land with the help of the community members  Legal system evolved to have harmony be central to the Aboriginals o “Not Guilty Plea” to a charge for which a person is responsible for  Western tradition:  Not dishonest or disrespectful  Even if you committed the crime, you can plead guilty  Do what you have to do to “win”  Aboriginal tradition:  Considered rude and dishonest and disrespectful  Denial of individual accusation is an impairment of autonomy o Accept whatever someone says as their own reality o Don’t deny other people their own truth  Idea of individuality very important  Pe
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