When committing a crime, even in good faith, does the criminal expect to be punished or does he do so without fearing the consequences? The purpose of the essay was to raise controversies in people’s minds of such an issue and to show that humanity is not as cruel as it is portrayed through society and through the law, and it has done so through careful studies and real examples of cases where crime is not merely an action punishable by law but it can be a triumph with a story behind it.
The assumption that understanding criminal behaviour is the most important tool we have to combat the incidence of crime has prompted many philosophers, jurists, psychologists, psychiatrists, socialists and others to seek a plausible explanation for the commission of crimes. Their methods are diverse, some employing scientific means and others using empirical evidence to explore why people engage in “deviant” activity. The most convincing of these theories are those which explain criminal behaviour by reference to the individual, such as the classical theory, which views criminal behaviour as being the free and rational choice of the individual. The theory then offers proportionate punishment as a means to discourage people from reoffending or to deter others from acting criminally. Whilst the theory is not without it flaws, it is difficult to disprove such a theory in the absence of establishing the offender was not capable of rational thought at the time of committing the offence.
As research in this essay has shown, individual differences, stereotypical threats, personal and situational factors can lead to reasons why false confessions occur. The ways in which police and other law enforcement agencies investigative certain suspects must make sure that the conditions in which suspects are placed in does not give suspects reasons to falsely confess. The different ways mentioned in this essay in understanding why people falsely confess to crimes have great potential in improving legit contributions to improving criminal justice practice, as they can help reduce the number of suspects who are put in these predicaments to testify truthfully.
In my essay I will first talk about crime and what it means, I will then talk about what different methods criminologists use to collect crime such as crime surveys and self report studies and there positive and negative sides. I will then go on to talk about victimless crimes. The definition of crime is something that is punishable by the criminal justice system, and is “An act punishable by law, as being forbidden by statute or injurious to the public welfare… an evil or injurious act, an offence, a sin.” (Robert.R 2002) The Dark figure of crime is the amount of crime which is unreported or unknown The total amount of crime in a community consists of crimes which are known or recorded and the dark figure of crime. Criminologists have used differing methods (like victimization surveys) to try to decrease the amount of unknown or unrecorded crime. In many cases, a crime will either be unrecorded or unreported.
The accuracy and reliability of criminal statistics is something that has been of great discussion through criminology for decades. Whilst some believe that crime statistics are a misuse of time and resources, others believe that there is some use for them within the criminological community. The inaccuracies of criminal statistics are highlighted in abundance within academic articles and research, many of which highlight the main source as the dark figure of crime. Many also suggest other inconsistencies within official statistics to be influenced by law enforcement agencies and society. But whilst there is much research to suggest that criminal statistics are unreliable and of no use, there are some that suggest that this may not be entirely
Although there are ways to measure it, they are not always accurate. Statitics and surveys try to find out not just how much crime there is but also how serious it is. This essay will describe these different methods and explain how they affect the amount of unreported and undetected offences referred to as the ‘Dark Figure’ of crime (Bottomley & Pease, 1986). There are various ways in which we can record or measure crime. How to effectively employ measures of crime prevention are influenced greatly by the amount or extent of crime.
Walker pointed out few basic assumptions which are related to deterrence theory that may not work at the real world. First, offenders have to be aware of the threat (123). For example, they have to know that they are exposed to being caught if there are more police officers out there to arrest them. Second, offenders have to perceive that violations of law may lead to unwanted incidents, so they need to be avoided. They should realize the criminal record is bad for their future; if they want to apply for a job, there is low possibility that interviewers will accept them since they have criminal records.
Second, a criminal act involves either criminal intent or guilty mind (mens rea). There are levels in criminal intent (which are relevant to guilt and punishment), the intent to harm in general is a necessary part in a typical case involving personal injury. Unlike civil wrongs that are generally concerned with harm caused by negligent or reckless behavior, criminal wrongs are necessarily the product of intentional, eventually cruel, behavior. Criminal acts are subjected to punishment. Any individual who commits a crime puts himself or herself at risk for punishment.
Laws serve several purposes in the criminal justice system. The main purpose of criminal law is to protect, serve, and limit human actions and to help guide human conduct. Also, laws provide penalties and punishment against those who are guilty of committing crimes against property or persons. In the modern world, there are three choices in dealing with criminals’ namely criminal punishment, private action and executive control. Although both private action and executive control are advantageous in terms of costs and speed, they present big dangers that discourage their use unless in exceptional situations.
For most people the threat of being punishment or the possibility of being caught for a crime is enough to deter criminal activity. Furthermore, for those people in America that do commit crimes the same question could be proposed. Why? This question is more difficult to answer due to the various explanations as to why people commit crimes. Unfortunately the deterrence/rational choice theories does not answer this question very effectively, other than offering the belief that for some people the reward of committing the crime far outweighs the chance they will be caught and subsequently punished for the crime.