Chp 7 Powerpoint - McCook Public Schools

Crime in
Chapter 7
Street Law Text
pp. 74-99
• Crime- something one does or fails to do that is in
violation of a law.
• Criminal law makes some acts criminal and some
non-criminal. Legislatures [and others] make the
laws that decide if an act is criminal or not.
• Acts are prohibited or required to protect life and
property, preserve individual freedoms, maintain
the system of government, and uphold the
morality of society.
• Crime has always been a problem and there are
many laws that deal with prohibited acts, it is
societies job [through a legislature] to decide
which crimes are severe and which are not so
Problem 7.1
Assume you are a member of a commission established to evaluate laws. Consider the following acts. In each case decide whether or not
the act should be treated as a crime. Then rank the crimes from most serious to least serious using the following scale: VS [very serious], S
[serious], U [undecided], LS [less serious], NS [not serious], or NAC [not a crime].
a. Robert sells crack cocaine and uses the proceeds to support his mother, who receives
public assistance.
b. Marley is a passenger in a car she knows is stolen, although she did not participate in
the theft of the car.
c. A corporate executive gives a million dollars to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
d. A college student downloads music files for free, burns them onto a CD, and uses the
CD at a party where she is a paid DJ.
e. Paulina is caught with a pound of marijuana.
f. Ella leaves a store with change for a $10 bill, knowing that she gave the cashier a $5
g. Samantha approaches a man and offers sex in exchange for money.
h. Ming refuses to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
i. A company pollutes a river with waste from its factory.
j. Pat gets drunk, hits a child, injuring her severely, while speeding through a school
k. DeShawn observes his best friend shoplifting but does not turn him in.
Extra- Wife finds husband messing around runs him over with her car
7.1 Expert Labeling
A. Sells Crack, help support mom --VS
B. Rider in Stolen Car --NS but could be liable
C. Exec. Gives $$ to Candidate --S
D. Student downloads music --LS
E. Pound of Marijuana --VS
F. Leave store with wrong Change --NAC [unethical, immoral]
G. Prostitution -- S [NAC in Nevada]
H. No helmet --NS [NAC in some states?]
I. Company pollutes River --S
J. Drunk Driving hits kid in school zone --VS
K. See friend shoplifting does nothing --NAC
Extra Robs store at Gunpoint --VS
Extra Affair, wife runs over husband --VS [affair NAC, immoral]
7.1 Expert Rankings
Robs store at Gunpoint --VS
Sells Crack, help support mom --VS
Drunk Driving hits kid in school zone --VS
Affair, wife runs over husband --VS [affair NAC, immoral]
Pound of Marijuana --VS
Company pollutes River --S
President lies under oath –hmmm Bill Clinton [S]
Exec. Gives $$ to Candidate --S
Prostitution -- S [NAC in Nevada]
Rider in Stolen Car --NS but could be liable
No helmet --NS [NAC in some states?]
See friend shoplifting does nothing --NAC
Leave store with wrong Change --NAC [unethical, immoral]
Problem 7.2
• Experts say some possible causes for crimes in the
United States are:
– Poverty
-Permissive Courts
– Unemployment
-Lack of Education
– Alcohol and Drugs
-Inadequate Police Protection
– Rising Population
-Lack of Parental Guidance
– Breakdown in Morals
-Ineffective Corrections
– Influence of TV, Internet, Films, and Video Games
• Incarceration-being put in jail, imprisonment by the
• Community Policing-citizens patrolling streets and
reporting crimes
• National Council on Crime and Delinquency
[NCCD] recommendations for reducing crime
– Build safer communities with special attention to safe
schools, after school programs, community policing,
and prevention of domestic violence and child abuse
– Reduce the costs and improve the fairness of the
criminal justice system
– Develop cost effective alternatives to incarceration,
reserving prison sentences for those who cannot be
safely treated in community based programs
– Create effective drug control policies. Reduce funds
spent on catching drug sellers and users; expand
funding for drug treatment and job training; and
repeal laws requiring mandatory prison sentences for
drug possession
Problem 7.4
a. Not everyone agrees with the NCCD’s recommendations. Do you agree or
disagree with their recommendations for reducing crime in the United States.
b. What do you think are the thee most important
causes of crime in your community? Why did you
select these causes? How could crime be
c. What steps should the federal government take
to reduce crime? What steps should your state
government take? What steps should be taken
by our local government?
Guns and the Law
• Opinions obviously vary as to why
and how guns play a role in crime
and who is to blame for gun sales,
and how to regulate the problem.
• MY OPINION– even if guns were
outlawed totally, criminals would still
have them…. Only law abiding
citizens would follow the laws, just
like things are today
• Problem 7.8
Which is a better way to reduce crimemore gun control or less gun control?
What restrictions, if any, should the
government place on the manufacture
or firearms? The sale of firearms? The
possession of firearms?
Substance Abuse and Crime
• Substance Abuse- use and abuse of all different kinds of chemicals
• Alcohol
– Most widely abused substance in the United States because it is usually socially
acceptable in our society
– Drunk Driving-general term for legal terms Driving Under the Influence & Driving
While Intoxicated- which means operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol
concentration of .08 or greater for adults and .02 for anyone under 21 years of age.
– Implied Consent-Driver agrees to submit to BAC test when they get license.
Substance Abuse and Crime cont.
• Drugs
• Illegal drug use costs society billions of dollars a year
• Between 50 and 75% of all people taken into the criminal justice
system test positive for one or more drugs at the time of their arrest
• The Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs based on medical use,
potential for abuse, and capability to create physical or psychological
• Recidivist- A repeat offender- Many states and the federal
government now have strict punishment for Recidivist’s that break
drug laws. Which has led to an overcrowding of prisons.
Problem 7.10
a. Are there any controlled substances
that should be legalized [still
allowing some form of government
regulation and even fines]? If so,
which controlled substances should
be legalized?
b. What are the most convincing
arguments in favor of legalizing
some controlled substances?
c. What are the most convincing
arguments against legalizing any
controlled substances?
d. How would society change if some
controlled substances were
legalized? Would these changes be
good or bad?
Victims of Crime
• Crime affects everyone, but most of all the
actual victims of a crime. Each year more than
24 million people, regardless of age, wealth,
race, and ethnicity, are victims of crime.
• Restitution- Pay back or compensation, by
criminals, to their victims.
• Victim advocacy groups are playing a more
significant role in helping victims recover
Preventing and Reporting Crime
• Steps to reduce the risk of crime
Report suspicious activity to police
Always lock your doors and windows
Be alert in high-crime areas such as dark, deserted streets and parking lots
Use the “buddy system”
Do not flash money in public
If you witness a crime or have been the victim of a crime, stay calm and call
the police
– Try to provide police with as much information as possible. Write down
[record] details as soon as possible so you can relay that information
– You may be asked to file a complaint or to testify in court. Your help will assist
the police in preventing future crimes
• If you become a victim
– You can give in or you can fight
• Understand your limitations if you choose to fight, you will risk injury, and if the criminal
has a weapon expect them to use it.
• Many experts advise giving the criminal property if that is all they want
• Others recommend yelling, screaming, running, drawing attention [because most
criminals do not want an audience
• Are you required to report a crime or render aid?
only if your state has a law requiring you to do so… Nebraska does not… at this
time only a few states do as part of their “Good Samaritan Law” and a few
have been overturned and found unconstitutional

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