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Chapter 1

CRIM 1447 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Motor Vehicle Theft, White-Collar Crime, Victimless Crime


Department
Sociology
Course Code
CRIM 1447
Professor
Michaela Ruppert
Chapter
1

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What is Crime? Pages 13-18
Crime is the breaking of the law for which the criminal justice or some other governing authority
prescribes punishment
Street crimes: those that are relatively common and serious, involving a victim and an offender
who come together in space and time
o Ex. Rape, murder, robbery, sexual assault, physical assault
o A large proportion of violent or street crimes occur between people that know each
other
o Most street crimes do not involve a weapon
o Street crimes aren’t likely to end in injury or death
Property crimes: motor vehicle theft, burglary, property theft
o Property crimes are far more common than street crimes
o Most common property crime is property theft and least common is motor vehicle
Victimless crimes: involve illegal behavior that does not (in theory) directly affect another
individual
o Ex. Prostitution, drug use, and gambling
White collar crimes: lying, cheating, and stealing by occupational, corporate, and government
professionals using a wide range of frauds- “crime committed by a person of respectability and
high social status in the course of his occupation”
o White-collar crimes affect far more people than street or property crimes
o Ex. bribery, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, mortgage fraud, misuse of pension funds,
bank fraud, unsafe products, violations of public trust, medical fraud, insider trading,
price fixing, toxic dumping, fiduciary fraud, and religious fraud
o White collar crimes are NOT victimless crimes
o White collar crime might be as high as $25o billion annually
Cybercrime: illegal activity committed using a computer or computer networks as the primary
method of commission
o Ex. network intrusions, dissemination of computer viruses, malicious code, bonnets,
various email scams such as phishing, denial-of-service attacks, identity theft, stalking,
bullying, fraud, theft of service, online gambling, trade secret theft, securities fraud, child
pornography
Terrorism
o Definitions
It is committed by subnational or extremist clandestine groups that may or may
not include groups in the US
It is premeditated
Targets are noncombatants
Acts have the purpose of influencing an audience
Acts tend to be cross-nationals (international vs domestic terrorism)
Acts generally seek political, social, or economic change
Crime definitions change over time
Mala in se: refers to behavior that is immoral and inherently wrong by nature
Mala prohibita: describes behavior that is prohibited by law
Decriminalization: the reduction or abolition of penalties associated with behaviors (adultery
and marijuana)
Justifiable homicide: the lawful and intentional taking of another’s life
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