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Definitions of Crime

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Lindsey Beach

on 10 April 2015

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Transcript of Definitions of Crime

The Definition of Crime
Criminology, Week 2
Office Hours
- Wednesday, April 15
Suzzallo Cafe
10:00am - 12:00pm
Legalistic
|
Any
culpable
action or inaction
Prohibited by law
and
Punishable
by the state as a misdemeanor or felony
Humanistic

|
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
ideological
construct
Constructionist

(or Labeling)
|
Crimes are defined by people whose reactions matter
Crime = status, not behavior
Moralistic

|
At odds with the law of God
Immoral = criminal

Political

|
Brute exercises of political power

Legal Defenses
Defendants must raise an
affirmative defense
for a jury to consider it.
Justification Defenses

|

Admits responsibility for the act,
Claims that under the circumstances the act was not criminal,
Or, that what was done was lawful.
1. Self-defense
2. Consent
3. Execution of Public Duties


Excuse Defenses
|
Admits what she did was wrong,
But argues that under the circumstances she was not responsible for the improper conduct
1. Duress
2. Intoxication
3. Mistake
4. Age
5. Insanity
6. Entrapment
Review
Definitions of Crime
Is that
really
a crime?

Step 1
Choose an article:
1. Jaywalking
2. Hate crimes
3. Sex work
4. Feticide
5. Torture
6. Feeding homeless people
Step 2
Find others with the
same
article. Read it.
Answer the following questions together:

1. Define the criminal behavior and law
in question.

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?
Step 3
Form a group with 4 or 5 students who read
different
articles.
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
example?
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
time?

5. What is criminal law? How is it unique
when compared to other types of law?


Reminder
- Midterm 1, Thursday, April 16
Large scantron, #2 pencil, black/blue pen

Study guide to be distributed Monday or Tuesday.
(Kauzlarich & Friedrichs)
(Hemmens)
Full transcript