CRIMINOLOGY TWO TYPES OF LAW: CIVIL and CRIMINAL UNIT 1: LAW AND CRIME Citizen v. Citizen Government v. YOU! Judges are impartial They are like referees for the court
Civil Law: I’m going to SUE YOU!!Essential Question: What were you supposed to do? • Why do people sue each other? • When can you sue someone? • Do people file too many lawsuits? • What is the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law?
Civil Law– “I’m going to sue you!!” Civil Law: Laws regulating relationships between individuals; • Based oncontracts between those people (2 types): • EXPRESSED (written or spoken) WARRANTY/GUARANTEE • IMPLIED (understood) e.g. HOUSE GUEST • What do you win?: • 1. INJUNCTION: You stop someone from doing something (NFL LINK) • 2. MONETARY: People pay you because they failed to honor their obligation or contract • LOWER BURDEN OF PROOF: EASIER TO WIN. You can win with a PREPONDERANCE (majority) of the evidence (Criminal burden higher = beyond a reasonable doubt) • Govt. provides COURT, JUDGE & JURY; • NO PRISON SENTENCES FROM CIVIL CASES!!!
Major issue in Civil Law: TORT (civil wrong) REFORM • Do people sue for frivolous (poor) reasons and clog up the courts? Top 10, lawyer video If we limit people’s ability to sue, do we deny them their right to just compensation for injury and loss?
TORT REFORM: Who benefits? Two major competing interests: • LAWYERS: generally opposed to TORT reform. Why? • INSURANCE COMPANIES: support TORT reform. Why?
Unit 1: Crime and Law? Crime: an ILLEGAL act punishable by the government How do we define what actions are CRIMINAL? Society (group) elects lawmakers Lawmakers pass laws about behavior Government appoints agents of ENFORCEMENT Citizens are PUNISHED (sanctioned) for breaking LAWS by the impartial courts
Criminal Law • Criminal law – laws defining acts subject to fines & imprisonment. • GOVERNMENTvs.Defendant (accused) Two levels of Criminal Law: STATE / FEDERAL Victims of crime are NEVER the PLAINTIFFS (ACCUSERS). The governments laws were broken and they are prosecuting the case. The VICTIM is just a bystander.
CRIME AND LAW Crime: Deviant behavior formally negatively sanctioned (prison or fines) by a social group. Helping another plan or cover up a crime is also punishable: Accessory before the Fact: helps plan the criminal act but does not participate in the crime. Some states call this “conspiracy” Accessory after the Fact: a person who, knowing a crime has been committed, helps the criminal avoid capture and prosecution
Elements of a Crime: What makes something a crime? • 1. Actus Reus = The act of committing a crime • 2. Mens rea = guilty mind. CRIMINAL INTENT are you capable of knowing right from wrong? some important exceptions: • mental state, • age, • cognitive ability – (mental retardation)
Can you be guilty and innocent at the same time? • Entrapment: Compelling someone to commit a crime not initially contemplated by him or her. • Police are not allowed to entrap citizens in criminal acts using undue coercion
Measuring Crime • Most Common Tool: • Uniform Crime Report (UCR): *First national crime report *Annual statistical analysis of all crimes reported to the police. *Compiled by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) from local PD’s Problems with UCR: • Limited to crimes reported to police • Multiple crime events listed singly (i.e. shooting during a robbery listed only as a shooting)
Problems with the UCR:Definitions of Crimes CHANGE. • For example: • RECENT DEVELOPMENT: Definition of RAPE to change to include men and women. Molestation and abuse of boys had previously never been counted as rape • Signifcance: • -Only ¼ of rapes are reported. • -Rape statistics will rise in the future. • -More support for rape victims • Which crime do you think is reported most accurately? • MURDER!
New Crime Measures National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) “New UCR” More specific than UCR Identifies more types of crime Not as widely adopted as the UCR National Crimes Victims Survey (NCVS) -Compiled by the Census Bureau -Identifies crimes not reported to the police: Sexual Assault, domestic violence, petty theft -Often shows twice as much crime as the UCR - Reports titled “Households touched by Crime”
STATE AND FEDERAL LAW • All US citizens are subject to two levels of laws: • STATE: Every state creates their own laws • Page 3-4 Marijuana Laws • FEDERAL: The Federal Government makes law for all 50 states • Federal Law is SUPREME • Most criminals are state and local offenders (over 80% of our 2 million prisoners are in local or STATE Prison) • video
NEW JERSEY STATE LAW: Non-Indictable offenses • NJ does not classify crimes as FELONIES (MORE than 1 year in jail) and MISDEMEANORS (LESS than 1 year in jail) • INSTEAD, NJ classifies crimes as: • 1. Non-Indictable: Petty Disorderly Persons (PDPs or Disorderly persons (DPs) offenses (EVERYONE ELSE CALLS THESE MISDEMEANORS) • 2. Indictable: Fourth through First degree crimes (EVERYONE ELSE CALLS THESE FELONIES)
NJ: Non-Indictable Offenses • NJ LAW: PETTY DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSES (PDP’s) • Least severe criminal charge • Heard in MUNICIPAL COURT • Max sentence: 30 days • : Examples: • Harrassment • Disorderly Conduct • Fighting • NJ LAW: DISORDERLY PERSONS OFFENSES (DP’s) • Less severe criminal charge • Heard in MUNICIPAL COURT • Max sentence 180 days in COUNTY JAIL • Examples: • Marijuana possession (under 50 grams) • Property theft or criminal mischief: less than $200 in damages or loss (NJSA 2C :17-3); • Simple Assault (NJSA 2C: 12-1); • Shop lifting of more than $2 but less than $200 (NJSA 2C: 20-11c(4)); • Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana (NJSA 2C 5-10(a)(4)). Crime RESOURCE PACKET PAGES 16-18
Indictable offenses in NJ:HEARD IN SUPERIOR COURT 1) First degree:MOST SERIOUS Prison: between 10 years and LIFE (85% MANDATORY for NERA crimes) Felony Murder Premeditated Murder Aggravated Sexual Assault Aggravated manslaughter Aggravated manslaughter by eluding Armed robbery Drug distribution (large quantities) 2) Second degree; Prison: between 5 and 10 years (85% MANDATORY) Aggravated assault( crime HARM FACTOR) Drug distribution in smaller quantities Manslaughter Robbery (without a weapon) Property theft crimes (if property value is $75,000 or more) Shoplifting (if full retail value is $75,000 or more) Vehicular Homicide/Vehicular Manslaughter (may also be charged as a 1st degree crime) • 3) Third degree • Prison: between 3 and 5 years • Gun Charges • Aggravated assault – HARM FACTOR • Theft – Depending on the type or value of property stolen • Possession of certain DRUGS • Shoplifting –valued from $500 to $75,000 dollars, • 4) Fourth degree = LEAST SERIOUS Prison max: 18 months • Aggravated assault (may be charged as 4th, 3rd, or 2nd degree crime) • Criminal sexual contact • Drug possession (in smaller quantities) • Joy Riding • Certain types of assaults including threat crimes • Property Theft Crimes(value $200 and $500) • Shoplifting( value between $200 and $500 • Usually a “misdemeanor” (less than a year in jail)
Getting Tough on Crime: States wanted to crack down on violent criminals • California and other states: THREE STRIKES and YOU’RE OUT Laws • Most states with 3 Strikes: 3 violent felonies = 25 to life • California: 2 felonies of any kind + one other arrest = 25 to life • California PRISON POPULATION EXPLODED! New Jersey gets tough and SMART: NERA: No Early Release Act – You must serve 85% of your sentence for certain 1st or 2nd degree crimes (usually violent crimes)
FEDERAL CRIME: Certain Crimes are deemed FEDERAL OFFENSES What makes something a FEDERAL OFFENSE? 1. Occurs on FEDERAL PROPERTY or related to FEDERAL AGENCIES *Military Base *Indian Reservation *Crosses STATE BORDERS *Mail / Internet FRAUD of any kind
FEDERAL CRIMES 2. Severe Crimes formally sanctioned by the US Congress: *KIDNAPPING *BANK ROBBERY *COUNTERFEITING *DRUG CRIME (“Kingpin”, Large scale drug manufacturing) *TERRORISM *HATE CRIMES (Specified) *CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS (Organized Crime R.I.C.O) *CERTAIN WEAPONS CHARGES (machine guns / silencers) *PROTECTED WILDLIFE *MARITIME CRIME (Crime on the high seas) *AIR TRAVEL (Crimes related to traveling or interfering with air travel) *INTERNET FRAUD / CRIMES *TAX EVASION *STOCK AND BOND TRADING VIOLATIONS *IMMIGRATIONS VIOLATIONS
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES • FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation: Premier federal law enforcement agency • USSS: United States Secret Service: Protection and Financial security (counterfeiting and credit fraud) • US Marshal Service Captures Federal fugitives • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) • United States Coast Guard (USCG) • United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) • United States Border Patrol (USBP) • United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) • Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Sentencing for Crime • Judges / Juries decide how long you serve / pay based on allowable sentence ranges. Other factors: • Severity of the crime • Their personal opinions • 90% of cases are Plea “bargained” • Some crimes have MANDATORY sentences (NERA = 85% for violent 1-2 degree in NJ) • The DEATH PENALTY has been abolished in New Jersey
CRIME: WHERE DID IT GO? Crime in the US reached a peak during the crack years(1980’s-1992) Experts predicted that crime would continue to increase Around 1992 crime rates began falling dramatically WHY????????
THEORIES FOR CRIME DROP: 1. Stronger Economy: less poor = less crime 2. Changing population: Baby Boomers getting older; huge population segment no longer criminally active 3. Better Policing Strategies: Computer analysis of crime, Nuisance crime initiative, etc. 4. Gun Control Laws: stricter gun laws = less crime 5. Allowing concealed weapons: Sounds logical , no evidence of impact 6. Capital Punishment: more executions scared potential criminals WHEN TESTED THESE THEORIES WERE FOUND INCONCLUSIVE
FREAKONOMICS? • Economist Stephen Levitt investigated the data and reached different conclusions. According to Levitt’s research crime plummeted for 4 reasons: • 1. More Police: 60,000 more police officers added during the 1990’s • 2. Rising Prison Population: By 2000 more than two million people were in jail, 4x more than 1972.
3. The Receding Crack Epidemic: When the crack epidemic ended; crime decreased • 4. Levitt’s most controversial theory Legalized Abortion is a factor in the drop in crime: • 1973 abortion became legal. • Levitt theorized that unwanted babies, who statistically were at greatest risk for criminal behavior, were never born. • 18 years later, when they would have embarked on their adult criminal life, they weren’t there. • Political and Social DYNAMITE : many disagree with this conclusion