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Definitions of Crime
Transcript of Definitions of Crime
Criminology, Week 2
- Wednesday, April 15
10:00am - 12:00pm
action or inaction
Prohibited by law
by the state as a misdemeanor or felony
Objectively identifiable harm to human beings and the violation of human rights
Needs-based social harms inflicted by the powerful on less powerful people, independent of formal legal institutions
A willful social harm
Crime is an
Crimes are defined by people whose reactions matter
Crime = status, not behavior
At odds with the law of God
Immoral = criminal
Brute exercises of political power
Defendants must raise an
for a jury to consider it.
Admits responsibility for the act,
Claims that under the circumstances the act was not criminal,
Or, that what was done was lawful.
3. Execution of Public Duties
Admits what she did was wrong,
But argues that under the circumstances she was not responsible for the improper conduct
Definitions of Crime
Choose an article:
2. Hate crimes
3. Sex work
6. Feeding homeless people
Find others with the
article. Read it.
Answer the following questions together:
1. Define the criminal behavior and law
2. Apply three key lecture concepts to your example
(this could be hypothetical situations).
3. Apply an alternative definition of crime to your example.
4. How might a defendant form a defense if they were charged?
5. What issues/considerations complicate the definition of crime
in this context?
Form a group with 4 or 5 students who read
Each student answers the following questions:
In one sentence, summarize your example.
1. How does your example illustrate one important lecture concept?
2. What is one issue that complicates the definition of crime in your
1. What makes a behavior criminal? Why is
this definition important to criminologist?
2. Why are intent and culpability important?
3. When will a legally acceptable defense fly?
4. How does the insanity defense relate to
classical school ideas of rationality? How
has the insanity defense changed over
5. What is criminal law? How is it unique
when compared to other types of law?
- Midterm 1, Thursday, April 16
Large scantron, #2 pencil, black/blue pen
Study guide to be distributed Monday or Tuesday.
(Kauzlarich & Friedrichs)