013 crime and society
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Crime and Society What is a crime? A crime in a broad sense is an act that violates a political or moral law of any person or social group. In the narrow sense, a crime is a violation of criminal law. In many nations there are criminal standards of bad behaviour. However, not all violations of the law are considered as crimes. For example breaches of contract or infraction are not subjects of criminal law, but rather of the civil law. The systematic study of causes, prevention, control and penal responses to crime is called criminology. History The first civilizations had codes of law, which contained both civil and penal rules. They were not always recorded. The first known written codes were produced by the Sumerians under their king Ur-Nammu. It happened more than 4000 years ago. The Code of Hammurapim, written later, is one of the richest codes of ancient times. The Romans systematized well-known laws and exported them in to their Empire. Sometime around the year 400 AD the Germanic mercenaries, who had fought down the Romans in England, brought the Roman law and mixed it up with their own Teutonic Law, which was written by the early Anglo-Saxon Kings. Later they struggled to gain power over the land and its people. It was the beginning of the modern concept of laws, because it meant that a crime was not only an offence against the individual person, but it was also wrong against the state. Thus during centuries the law developed into the present form. Reasons Crimes are viewed as offences against society, and they are punished by the government. They are divided, according to the subject, into crimes against: Personality of the State Rights of the citizens Public administration Administration of justice Religious sentiment Public order Public economy, industry and commerce Public morality Person and honour Patrimony Classification Crimes can be divided into several overlapping categories: computer offenses crimes against people crimes against property crimes against state security drug offences sexual offences weapon offences Another alternative is to divide crimes according to their harmful consequences. The first group consists of crimes like robbery, murder, rape, larceny and fraud. There’s a connection between an action and a harm. Someone was violated or something was stolen and these things don’t usually happen accidentally or naturally. The second group is represented by homicide, arson or assault. There is a possibility of a gap between an action and a harm, e.g. death, destruction and injury might occur naturally or accidentally. Crimes can also be classified according to their severity, e.g. felonies, indictable offences, misdemeanors and summary offences. Prevention and protection The heart of the matter is to have a good and incorrupt state system of a protection – Criminal Investigation Department. There is an alarm security for personal protection or for protection of facilities that could help bodyguards. Another opportunity for a man is to protect himself with a gun or, for example, with a defensive spray. But the user should have a good psychological condition. The protection is closely related to a crime prevention. The way how to control or cut down the criminality is based on the threat of punishment as a deterrent and is executed by the state. Its effectuality is also controlled by the state. Punishment The crime is any culpable action or omission prohibited by law and punished by state. This process should be unambiguous and based on immutable rules. At the beginning there is an identification of a criminal behaviour, then an accusation and a trial where the accused person is found guilty or innocent. The intention underlying the penal system is to deter future wrongdoing of the defendant if he is convicted. The punishment is supposed to demonstrate the unfortunate consequence that will follow any decision to break the law. It means the punishment is also a warning to other potential wrongdoers. Punishments can be divided into two categories: socio-economical punishments: fines or loss of income confiscation demotion, suspension or expulsion restriction or loss of civic and other right, in the extreme even civil death physical punishments - corporal punishment : amputation or castration (legality of these varies from country to country) custodial sentences include imprisonment hard labor banishment capital punishment Capital punishment Capital punishment is also called the death penalty and it is often the subject of controversy. In the countries in which it is practiced, there are often rival campaigns both to have it abolished and to have it retained, while in abolitionist nations some support is reintroduced. The opponents to the death penatly commonly argue that it is an ineffective deterrent, that may lead to the irreversible failure of justice, or that it violates the criminal's right to life. Supporters of the death penalty state that it does deter crimes, saves innocent lives by preventing future murders, and that the death penalty is a moral imperative since allowing murderers to live while the victims cannot, is a great injustice. Statistical studies have failed to show which of the arguments is true. accusation = obvinění, obžaloba administration of justice = výkon spravedlnosti arson = žhářství assault = přepadení banishment = vyhoštění breaches of contract = nedodržení smlouvy capital punishment = trest smrti civil death = ztráta občanských práv civil law = občanské právo corporal punishment = tělesný trest criminal law = trestní právo culpable = provinilý, vinný custodial sentence = vazba defendant = obžalovaný demotion = degradace deterrent = od /zastrašující prostředek expulsion = vyloučení felony = těžký, hrdelní zločin fraud = podvod gain = získat, zajistit si hard labor = nucené práce homicide = zabití indictable offence = závažný trestný čin infraction = přestupek larceny = krádež misdemeanor = méně závažný trestný čin offence = porušení zá