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SOC 3568 Week 2 Notes

by: Danielle Notetaker

SOC 3568 Week 2 Notes SOC 3568

Marketplace > University of Utah > Sociology > SOC 3568 > SOC 3568 Week 2 Notes
Danielle Notetaker
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Notes from week 2 of Sociology of Law
Sociology of Law
Larry Bench
Class Notes
sociology, Law, week 2
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Notetaker on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 3568 at University of Utah taught by Larry Bench in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Sociology of Law in Sociology at University of Utah.


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Date Created: 02/01/16
Sociology of Law – Week 2 January 20, 2016 Criminal Law  How do we define what a crime is? o Law defines something to be a criminal offense that has been defined by a statute and also involves some sort of punishment and has been sanctioned by a court of law o Crime is subject to formal condemnation by a judge and/or jury  What ultimately does the law mean? o What does it mean to say that you violate a law? What ultimately happens if you violate a law as part of a criminal code?  You have broken a social contract  Pragmatically – you have to face consequences based on the crime that you have committed. You will most likely go to jail (long or short term)  End result is that you will be incarcerated if you not do follow the steps in between.  The biggest fear of why people comply with the law is that their liberties will be taken away if they do not comply with the law.  The Functions of the Law o Social Control  When we livein an advanced society the legal system has a primary goal of controlling society. In the past social control was done through family and other informal groups because the population was less and there were few laws that were imposed by a central government. There wasn’t a legal system to protect against or prevent crime.  When you move forward to large populations in the world it is unreasonable to livein a place where there is not a legal system to protect against or prevent crime. Without a legal system no one would be able to live in a safe place.  Would you want to live in a place where there were no laws or regulations and people were all free to do whatever they wanted to do? o Dispute Resolution  There are going to be issues between groups and disputes need to have a way to be resolved.  Without dispute resolution set up in a legal system it will not function properly  Components to a Dispute and the Resolution of that Dispute  Naming something o You have to know that you are a victim in order for a dispute to be resolved.  Knowing Who to Blame o Who is the one who has victimized me? o Large company or an individual o Water in Michigan (Flint)  Decided to save money by switching to a new water system that was full of lead. The city has a lot of old pipes and the system has begun to leach lead into the homes of millions of people in the city. The city was reluctant to do anything about it until one pediatrician did a test on her own and found that the water was heavily full of lead. They have now switched to a new water system, but because the pipes have begun to leach lead they are continuing to leach into the water system. Lifelong consequences for young children. o Claiming  Who we are going to file a claim against  Who is to blame for the problem?  Types of Law o Substantive Law  Law that you find in textbooks  The Utah State Code  The written law on any given subject  Federal Code  State Code  Municipal Code  You can look this up and read it for yourself  This is what you cite if you are pleading a case in court o Procedural Law  Has to do with the methods to be used in enforcing substantive law  Criminal law shows steps to be taken during arrest, trial, obtaining evidence, sentencing, jailing, etc.  Does the law enforcement have the right to do what they did?  This is constantly changing based on how the courts interpret this law and what it really means  Specifies how persons should be sentenced when convicted of one or more crimes  Felonies  Offences for which you can serve one year or greater  Always served in prison  Fines can also be associated with these  Misdemeanors  Offences for which you can serve one year or less  Always served in jail  You do not have to be put in jail. You can be sentenced to probation or parole  Most people would rather serve time in prison because jails have far less opportunities because they are not set up for long term sentences o Case Law  Judge made law  Refers to the precedence that has been created over time and changes as cases are tried and heard  Stare Decisis – Let the decision stand  Generally recognized in the legal system as a fundamental importance of the rule of law  The court is not obligated to recognize case law  They take it under advisement. If they do not feel that it is pertinent to the case at hand they are allowed to ignore it o Administrative Law  The United States government delegates authority to administrative agencies to make rules and regulations for different areas in order to keep different areas of the community safe.  Like the A.E.A.  If companies do not follow the rules and regulations that are set out, they can be fined and if they refuse to pay the fines or comply, someone in charge of the company will be sent to jail to pay for the crimes that have been committed.  These agencies will go to court and get a court order. If it is denied there will be other consequences imposed.  Standard of Proof o Criminal: Beyond a reasonable doubt  Every time that you go before a court you have to make your own pitch for what this standard of proof is.  Various attempts have been made to define this but there is not a specific definition anywhere.  Some case law attempting to define but it is very difficult to create an empirical test or definition of this  The State vs. A private citizen or Corporation o The state always initiates the charges Civil Law  Dispute is between private parties  Not a matter that the state technically has an interest in  The judge and jury serve as a referee to make sure that procedural matters are followed  Provides a private people redress by means by which injured persons sue those who have injured them o The redress is quite frequently financial  Torts – twisted or crooked o Personal injuries for which the injured can sue the injuring party o The source of actions include: defective goods, defamation of character, negligence, trespass, etc.  Two sorts of damages o Punitive  Awarded as a means of punishing the defendant for their actions o Compensatory  Compensate for losses and/or pain and suffering  Complicated and lucrative area of law  Standard of Proof o A preponderance of evidence  Just enough evidence to make it more likely than not the fact is true  51% vs 49%  It is much easier to prove than beyond a reasonable doubt. Much easier standard  In civil law, the attorneys take a percentage of the award as their compensation o If you have a good case they are more likely to take your case because they will make more money  90-95% of cases are settled outside of court Abstract  Can be written in any order that you want.  First thing that you read when looking at a research article  A condensed version of what is in an article  If done well you should be able to read it and know if you are interested in reading the article.  100-150 words  First thing that you read but the last thing that you write o Do not write it until you are done so that you can properly summarize your proposal or article o Things change by the time you have a finished product so it is not good to start writing an abstract before the rest of the project is finished o Write it once you are fairly comfortable with the written product that you have be completing  Condensation of the paper o Somewhat of an introduction to your work  State what has happened in previous studies or research. (Important evidence for your topic)  Then state the focus of the research that you are conducting  If you are proposing an empirical study, then state what the results showed  Directions for future research noted  If you are just doing a review of literature you will not need the result section. You may suggest that data be analyzed but you will not be doing any analyzing yourself. o These are very difficult to write well. You want to write these well so that your article can be helpful 


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