Crim 101 Notes
What is criminology? A social science studying crime and related phenomenon such as law making, criminal behavior, victimization and punishment Discipline of criminology is a recent development Most ideas and concepts we now have about crime and criminals emerged over last 2 or 3 centuries Modern criminology is multi-disciplinary (inter-disciplinary) Influenced by sociology, psychology, and biology
The fascination with crime Crime is popular topic for newspapers, TV shows , books and movies There is little relationship between crime news and actual amount of crimes Media focus primarily on violent crimes, even though such crimes forms only smart part of all criminal activity Appears as though police solve more crimes and arrest more cirminals than they do in reality The appeal of crime stories and crime news
Crime related stories are often dramatic and lurid Deal with moral questions of good vs evil Criminals appear in stories as insane or dangerous psychopaths Stories happen in short time span- between newscasts or newspaper editions Easy for the public to understand Felson’s 10 fallacies about crime Book 1.
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the dramatic Fallacy o keep ratings high, media seek strange/violent incidents to report/create dramas around murder makes up less than 1% of all crime, yet from watching TV or reading the papers, it seems like a commonplace events seems that most murders are well-planned, grisly affairs, or they happen solely by random chance in fact, most murders start as arguments that escalate into violence most crimes are relatively minor property crimes
Actus Reus: a real event, in which somebody has committed or failed to commit an act b. Men Rea: criminal intent; you must have the intent to commit the act c. No legal defense or justification d. Must be contrary to a provision of criminal law Crime as normative violation pictures Mala in Se Mala in se: “something bad or evil in itself” Laws that criminalize acts most societies and cultures agree are inherently wrong, e. g. , murder and incest Mala Prohibita
Mala prohibita: something that is deemed to be wrong or criminal only because it is prohibited Acts where there might be considerable disagreement from society to society re: their legality Concensus vs. conflicy * consensus| * conflict| * Society as a functional organism| * Society and social transformation rooted in social conflict| * Norms/expectations based on shared values/interests| * Society not organic or natural. But forced upon us| * Those who are different (e. g. ,criminals) are deemed to be abnormal| * Society/laws based on values and interests of those with the power|