Crime and the Constitution
Constitution is a set of principals, so there aren't actually any crimes, which are defined by the Constitution. Most of the modern constitutions are more like the guidelines for all lawmakers and governments when passing certain acts into laws. Laws must be based upon the Constitution, and theoretically cannot exceed the boundaries set by the Constitution except in the case when those laws are passed in legislative bodies as organic laws. Constitution is a fundamental document and a source upon which the governments receive their power. The Constitution is also an agreement between citizens and people who are selected.
The fifth amendment of United States Constitution mentions word "infamous" in reference to crimes. This reference is made on "crimen falsi."
"Crimen falsi in the civil law is defined as the crime of falsifying; by writing, by forgery of a legal document, by falsely testifying, by perjury, by counterfeiting public money, by counterfeiting public seals or other deceitful practices."
"Crimen falsi at common law is defined as any crime, which may injuriously affect the administration of justice by the introduction of falsehood and fraud."
Crimes are proscribed by the Penal Codes, which are more or less based on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Black's law dictionary provides the definition of the Constitution in American law as"the written instrument agreed upon by the people of the Union or of a particular state, as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and officers of the government in respect to all the points covered by it, which must control until it shall be changed by the authority who established it, and in opposition to which any act or ordinance of any such department or officer is null and void. Cooley, Const. Lim. 3"
Crime and the Constitution
Lombroso's study of criminology
Critical, Marxist and social radical theories of crime
Being rich isn't rule, but an exception. The more people are rich. The higher are theirs social responsibilities. Wealthy people also enjoy higher social standing, so it is an imperative for the wealthy to provide industrial production capacity and infrastructure (non-service sector) that those with lesser social standing can earn their wages, and the wealthy can keep their profits.
Principles that Beccaria found most important were:
1. proportionality of fines compared to social economic status
2. absolute rule of law (without extensive judicial sentencing practice or court casinos)
3. laws are condition of freedoms
5. concept of indeterminism
6. advocated against use of death penalty
7. concept of the free will
Differences in theoretical approaches between classical and positivist criminology are:
Classical criminology uses philosophy and logic to explain a crime. Classical criminology was influenced by philosophical thinking's of Rousseau, Voltaire, Feurebach, Kant, Hegel and Bacon. Crime is a logical syllogism or just a simple choice. Classicist focus on crime, but not on the perpetrator of crime.
Beccaria criticized against of use of torture and secret judicial proceedings. He also advocated for abolition of the death penalty, while Bentham worked on the systematic codification of criminal law. Jeremy Bentham was an advocate against of the excessive severity used in punishments of perpetrators, which were prescribed in the criminal laws of his time. Some of Bentham's ideas were implemented into laws. Bentham teachings have laid the groundwork for substantial legal reforms, and were spread by Bentham’s followers.
Lombroso believed that the true criminal can be identified simply by observation of certain physical traits such as a long lower jaw, asymmetric cranium, and other. Positivist use available scientific methods of that time such as anthropometric measuring, phrenological measuring, intuitive thinking, retrospective interview about prison inmates or asylum inhabitants and many other methods. They focus its research on the criminal. Theory of a born criminal was created by Cesare Lombroso largely thanks to his anthropometric and phrenological researches, which brought him to false conclusions. Even today scientists in analyzing and constructing crime theory can make mistakes like Lombroso.
Many police officers and crime investigators may have encountered perpetrators who have claimed that they committed their crimes under some demonic influences. Perpetrators may claim, but none of them produced any physical evidence. It is very odd to have two accepted scientific disciplines like theology and forensic sciences claiming the opposite.
Witchcraft, Satanism & Occult Crime: Who's Who & What's What, a Manual of Reference Materials for the Professional Investigator
The critical theory of criminology sets answers on why and how a criminality becomes the product of society. Their answers are focused on various distributions of wealth and power in the society. People who have greater powers define the rules on "what is a crime" and "what is not". People commit crimes, because they disagree with those rules. Powerful elites create the rules to sustain their way of life and system of values. According to this theory, the criminality is the way how powerless people express their disagreement with those values and keep their respect and dignity.
Introduction to criminology problems when defining criminology
Critical school of criminology stresses out unequal distribution of wealth and power in the society. Inequality among people will eventually lead to crime. Marxists criticize the capitalism and "free" market economy, because such system creates impoverishment of many.
Marxist theories are right in terms that inequality exists among people and that opportunities are obscure for non-wealthy. Critics of critical theories argue that critical theories have marked crime as a political category, but have excluded many other factors.
Critical criminology takes the sociological approach to crime Critics of the sociological approach to crime argue that sociological theories are too narrow in understanding crime causation.
Sociological theories of crime causation can be divided into two groups of theories:
1. sociological theories based on the factors relatively independent of social interactions and
2. sociological theories based on the factors which are results of social interaction and social dynamics.
Criminological theories and crime
Criminology and methodology
What is a method?
The method is a planned process of testing and research of a phenomenon or the path to achieve a goal on the philosophical, scientific, political or practical area.
Research methods of criminology
What is a scientific method?
Scientific method is a set of various processes which science uses in scientific research to investigate and present results of scientific research in a particular area or scientific discipline. Scientific method is a path of research that shapes and builds the science. Scientific method is also the every manner of scientific research that provides a safe, sorted, systematic and accurate knowledge.
Most commonly used methods in criminology are: a study of individual cases (case study), a clinical method of studying personalities of delinquents (clinical study), a statistical analysis of crime as a mass phenomenon (statistical analysis), and an experimental study of delinquents (experiment).
Research methods of criminology are:
1. historical method,
2. comparative method,
3. psychological method,
4. statistical method,
5. prognostic method,
6. case study,
7. prophylactic method and
8. an experiment.
Characteristics of scientific methods i.e. methods must be:
1. objective or impartial
2. systematic or sorted
3. precise or exact
4. general and
Scientific methods features
Historical method is a descriptive method. This method describes a certain research object or phenomenon in its historical dimension or time sequence.
Comparative method compares two or more phenomenons (research objects) with a final goal to find certain connections or dissimilarities between them. Comparing two objects we can find out, does the connection between them really exists as well as what are natures of their similarities or dissimilarities. We should also consider that many phenomenons may look like to be connected in some way, but the connection between them doesn't really exist i.e. there is no clear connection between crime and intelligence. Being intelligent certainly helps to the development of professional criminal career, but just alone it isn't sufficient.
Psychological method consists of itself of various behavior observations, attempts of behavior modifications and attempts to predict future behaviors of delinquents. Psychology in some way is a hocus-pocus science, because it isn't easy to modify or predict human behavior or to know for certain what fully caused it.
Statistical method. Mark Twain once said: "Statistics is only accurate in inaccuracies." Crime can be statistically analyzed using various attributes: conceptual (name of the analyzed phenomenon), temporal (one year, six months, one month) and territorial (town, country, region or globally).
Clinical method is used in psychology. Psychology mostly researches normal behaviors, but specialized field in psychology known as clinical psychology researches abnormal behaviors, while psychiatry researches mental health disorders i.e. dangerous behaviors. Clinical method is formed as an interview. Clinical psychologist asks the questions, and a patient (person) gives the answers. During the interview, the psychologist takes notes. Whole interview takes about 30 minutes. Psychologists then take those notes and set diagnosis and prognosis about health condition and possible behavioral developments.
Case study is one of the best detail analysis ever introduced into science. However, case studies are detail, but expensive. Some of the best results and scientific contributions in understanding the juvenile delinquency are achieved trough a case study. Case study can analyze one case or can analyze 30 or more similar cases by comparing them together. Many valuable results are gained trough case studies.
Criminological methods of research
Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Applied Social Research Methods)
Quantitative methods in criminology are the methods for study of distribution and possible causes of crime. Quantitative methods of research in criminology are:
1. survey research,
2. field research,
3. evaluation research and
4. other quantitative research methods.
Quantitative research methods are used in gathering of reliable and valid data. Data is then used by criminologists in formulation of causal statements about research variables. Quantitative methodological approach is described in a handbook "The Handbook of Quantitative Criminology. Statistics in criminal research is an indicator and starting point for an explanation of crime.
Criminal statistics sources are:
1. police statistics about crimes, criminals and presumptive criminals,
2. state attorney's statistics about accused and convicted persons,
3. the Court statistics about convicted persons and about (private) lawsuits
4. victimization studies,
5. self-report and anonymous report studies.
Criminal statistics is used for the development of:
1. prevention programs,
2. repression programs (crime combating, war on crime)
Criminal statistics can also be used for creation of effective policing, selection of human resources in the police organization, assessment of security and safety in some geographical area and for finding of connections in criminal phenomenology.
Many colleges offer the criminology study. Information's about benefits of criminology degree can be given by a college counselor. Criminology study information's can be obtained trough seminars. Criminology has little to do with forensic sciences, although certain college programs in the area of police sciences have incorporated theoretical criminology and forensic sciences into an interdisciplinary university program.
Introduction to criminology problems when defining criminology
Criminology theories of crime
Most common terms and definitions used in criminology are listed as follows:
Definition of delinquency
Sociologists Jack E. Bynum and William E. Thompson define juvenile delinquency as a conduct which violates the law only when committed by children.
Scientific discipline of criminal Law defines juvenile delinquency as an act in violation of the criminal code, committed or omitted by person under age of 18.
Definition of penology provided by encyclopedia Britannica: Penology is a research area of criminology, which researches formation, origin and development of penalty, its application and impact on convicts. Research object of penology is execution of criminal sanctions, the status of the offender and post-penal treatment. In short terms, object of research in penology is special prevention. Penology acts "post delictum" or after the criminal act.
Definition of victimology
Victimology is the scientific discipline which studies the crime victims, all other victims, victimization processes, types of victimization's, relationship of a victim with the perpetrator, and the effect of criminal justice system on the victim. It developed itself out of criminology as the specialized scientific discipline. In the last 20 years, victimology has developed own research methodology, defined the research objects. Today it has all attributes to become an independent and autonomous science. Many academics of criminal law and criminology study have contributed to victimology in terms of better understanding of victim behavior, relations of a victim with a perpetrator, effects of secondary victimization through criminal case trial and readiness of a victim to report a crime. On the theoretical level victimology is thought as an academic discipline within criminology or criminal law study in the bachelors or master's college programs and sometimes as an independent academic discipline within PhD studies of criminal justice, sociology, social pedagogy or through interdisciplinary police study programs on some universities. In short terms, victimology by the definition is the study of why certain people become victims of crime. Victimology is also the study of how crime or other harmful events impacts the very same victims. The word victim today has a broad use and it used to signify various categories of victims: cancer victims, accident victims, victims of injustice, crime victims and others.
Methods of theoretical criminology