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SOCI 2450 (35)
Chapter 1


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SOCI 2450
Darryl Davies

Important Terms: Crime Consensus model Participant Civil law Pluralistic perspective observation Indictable offence Social conflict Self-reports Summary conviction perspective Secondary analysis offence Research Quantitative methods Hybrid offence Applied research Qualitative methods Administrative law Pure research Data confidentiality Statute Primary research Informed consent Criminalize Secondary research Social policies Common law Hypothesis V-chip Statutory law Variable Social problems Deviance Research design perspective Criminologist Confounding effects Social responsibility Criminology Controlled perspective Criminality experiments Social relativity Criminal justive Quasi-experimental Criminal justice Theory general theory designs system Unicausal Survery research Socialization Integrated theory Case study What Is Crime? Crime - (seen from a legalistic perspective) is defined as human conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a jurisdiction that has the power to make such laws, and for which there is some form of authorized sanction. - Without a law that circumscribes a particular form of behaviour, there can be no crime, no matter how deviant or socially repugnant the behaviour in question may be. Example: Australian case, court acquitted a citizen of making a demand with menaces when he was said to have threatened another part with point to the bone (place a death curse). Didnt hold because the court finds it impossible to convict someone of assault charges for putting a voodoo curse on another. - sees crime solely as confuct in violation of the criminal law - nature of crime cannot be separated from the nature of law - The notion of crime as behaviour that violates the law derives from earlier work by criminologists who defined crime as an intentional act. Edwin Sutherland said an essential characteristic of crime is that the behaviour is prohibited by the State as an injury to the state and against which the State may react by punishment. 3 Major Forms of Law in Criminology: Civil Law body of law that regulates arrangements between individuals, such as contracts and claims to property. Exists primarily for the purpose of enforcing private rights. Criminal Law body of law that regulates actions that have the potential to harm interests of the state. Because the state is made up of citizens, acts that are harmful to citizens of the state are fundamentally criminal in nature. Even those activities that dont have obvious victims. Ex. Gambling, drugs - Indictable offence: a serious criminal offence; specifically, one that carries a prison sentence of 14 years or longer. (murder, robbery, sexual assault, hostage taking) - Summary conviction offence: a criminal offence that is less serious than an indictable offence,; one that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail. (indecent phone calls, causing a disturbance) - Hybride offence(dual-procedure offences): a criminal offence that can be classified as indictable or as a summary conviction; the classification is usually made by the Crown Attorney. (pointing a firearm, uttering death threats) Administrative Law: regulates many daily business activities. Violation of such regulations generally results in warnings or fines, depending upon their adjudged severity. (Ex. decisions made by Insurance Board or Ontario Workplace Safety) Limits to Legalistic Approach to Crime Doesnt recognize the social, moral and individual significance of fundamentally immoral forms of behahaviour. It yields the moral high ground to powerful individuals who are able to influence the making of laws and the imposition ofcriminal definitions on lawbreakers. By making their own laws, powerful but immoral individuals may escape the criminal label. Lack of recognition of the fact that formalized laws have not always existed. Common Law law originating from usage and custom rather than from written statutes. The term refers to non- statutory customs, traditions, and precedents that help guide judicial decision making. Statutory Law: law in the form of statutes or formal written strictures, made by a legislature or governing bogy with the power to make law. *(aside) Canadian make-up: Although Canada has enacted to comprehensive federal legal code, it still adheres to the common-law tradition. The exceptions to this is Quebec provincial law, which operates under civil-law system. Political Perspective on Crime: Crime is a result of criteria that have been built into law by powerful groups an
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