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Chapter 1 Criminal Legal System

by: Hannah Snyder

Chapter 1 Criminal Legal System

Marketplace > University of Iowa > Sociology > > Chapter 1 Criminal Legal System
Hannah Snyder

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These cover the basics of substantive and procedural law as well as introduces the main topics that will be discussed in the course.
Criminal Legal System
Celeste Albonetti
Class Notes
Criminal Justice
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Snyder on Tuesday October 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to at University of Iowa taught by Celeste Albonetti in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Criminal Legal System in Sociology at University of Iowa.


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Date Created: 10/11/16
Chapter 1 Lecture: Crime and Justice are Public Policy Issues Questions Addressed: 1. How are public policies on crime formed? 2. How do the crime control and the due process models of criminal justice help us understand the system? 3. What is crime? ● Who bears responsibility for addressing issues of crime and justice? ○ depends on how the society is organized and the nature of its governing system ■ PRE­MODERN SOCIETIES­ crime is defined, justice is defined and out by local  traditions/religious beliefs and values with few protections for accused­crime and justice treated  as a private matter­a matter between tribes ■ MODERN SOCIETIES (especially democratic societies)­ a development of formal adjudication  processes with protections for the accused (industrialized societies)­formal adjudication  process­transparent system with clear distinction between crime and the process for  determination of guilt­crime and justice is viewed as a public matter­ the government is  responsible for defining and providing a formal and visible adjudication process for  handling those suspected of committing crime ● in a democratic society­citizens have constitutional rights, the criminal justice reflects ○ how much power should police have to search a person or property without a search warrant ○ rules of evidence (affect police, prosecutors, and judges’ decisions at trial) ○ power of prison officials ○ protections of the accused during pretrial processing ● in an authoritarian society, these concerns/issues are irrelevant­citizens have little to no rights  (above) ● media/press→public perception of crime→politicians/government officials’ attempts to gain favor with electorate by emphasis on crime→legislative/referendum policies ● politics of crime and justice ○ developed at the national, state, and local level ○ politicians respond to a reading of what the public want (significant sectors) not necessarily in a  reasonable or thoughtful manner of addressing crime ○ knee­jerk reaction ■ sometimes new laws have unintended consequences  ■ some laws are written in such a way that they are overly inclusive  ● sexual exploitation laws­ “sexual predator” even if it’s consensual it is considered statutory rape ● drug mandatory minimums­ 10 years­20 years­life in prison for simple drug distribution  “trafficking”  ○ one way around it but it’s difficult to get because you have to be a first offender, done in a  nonviolent way, have to plead guilty, ect (5 total) to then get the “mandatory minimum” reduced ● Defining Crime ○ criminal law is defined by elected representatives in state legislature and Congress­decide  which behaviors the government will define as criminal and the punishment imposed upon  convictions­ substantive criminal law ○ criminal law is made up of procedural criminal law AND substantive law ■ Procedural law ● consists of the set of rules that govern the proceedings of the court in criminal lawsuits as well  as civil and administrative proceedings the court needs to conform to the standards set up by  procedural law, while during the proceedings ● these rules ensure fair practice and consistency in the “due process” ● definition: deals with and lays down the ways and means by which substantive law can be  enforced ● regulation: by statutory law ■ Substantive law ● definition: deals with those areas of law which establish the rights and obligations of individuals,  what individuals may or may not do ● regulation: by act of Parliament or government implementation  ■ creating statutory law­ any law made by the legislative body ● criminal law is embedded in statutory law ● trumps all other types of law  ■ set laws on the consequences of breaking laws ■ substantive criminal law creates the elements and is the directed law that the criminal justice  system looks at when condemning those who break the law ○ Packer is all about the procedural criminal law process ○ due process is the rights of the accused ○ Substantive criminal law ■ some behaviors defined as criminal­reflect a consensus in society­ mala in se­ they are wrong  in themselves (rape, assault, murder) ■ other behavior defines as criminal by a group in society as being harmful mala prohibita­ crimes because they are prohibited by government, not because they are wrong in  themselves­not a consensus on the behavior as wrong (gambling, prostitution, drug use)­no agreement on the wrongfulness of the conduct ● aren’t seen as “evil” but still illegal ● easier to change over time ○ ex: marijuana use legalized in Colorado, Oregon, etc ● processes of decriminalization is a LONG process however it does work  ● Types of Crime ○ felony­ crimes that are punishable by death or by a period of imprisonment ○ misdemeanor ○ Visible Crime ■ violent crime­ acts against a person resulting in physical injury or death (rape, robbery, criminal  homicide) ■ property crime­ acts that harm other’s property or state property (burglary, theft, larceny,  shoplifting) ■ public order crime­ acts that threaten the general well­being of society and challenge accepted  moral principles (vandalism, aggressive panhandling) ● not a strong consensus about “criminalizing” some of these behaviors ● some view public disorder as behavior that is expression of person’s liberty in free society ● others view these behaviors as an issue ○ 5 types of crime ■ 1. occupational crime­ committed in context of a legal business or profession (white collar) ● 4 types of occupational crime ○ 1. crimes that are engaged in for the benefits of the employing organization  ■ used deceptive accounting practices to inflate earnings reports and values of stock ○ 2. occupational crimes through exercise of governmental authority ■ person has legal power/authority over others (law enforcement but acts illegally, falsification of  documents) ○ 3. occupational crimes committed by professionals in their capacity as professionals  ■ doctors­illegal dispensing of drugs ○ 4. occupational crimes committed by individuals as individuals (where opportunities are not  based on government power (police) or professional position (doctor) (employee theft, filing  false expense claims) ■ 2. organized crimes ● crimes committed within a structure, set of rules, division of labor­ organized ○ human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking ■ 3. crimes without victims ● crimes that involve a willing and private exchange of goods and services that are illegal  (offenses against morality) ○ prostitution, gambling ■ 4. political crime ● refers to behavior by the government or against the government for ideological purposes ○ following a moral directive that is above the law ­ demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s  against the war in Vietnam ■ treason, espionage ■ 5. cybercrime ● use of computers/internet to commit acts against persons, property and public order/morality  ○ identity theft, accessing other people’s financial accounts ○


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