Criminology Chapter 1 Course Notes

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This chapter was an overall background of to the rest of the book and it gave you just a quick peek into what is criminology, how did it become, what exactly do criminologists do and why they do it. There were so many different aspects into the history or criminologists and crime that you could easily get lost. The authors wanted to make sure you were able to tie the history of how theories came about to some of the actual things we face in today’s crimes. As you know history is from the start of our time, we had crime back then, and we now have to take what some of the greatest people of our time created and apply it into today’s world of “new” crime (technology, white collar, etc). Deviant or Criminal? Reading further into this was very surprising as I always thought acts were deviant and criminal not one or the other. Then to see that being deviant does not always put you in a crime. For example back in the day (1930’s) it was legal for you to smoke marijuana; it was just frowned upon, until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1938 which was presented in front of the House Ways and Means Committee by Harry Anslinger which then made it a crime. Today we have turned that around, what was a crime has now been turned back into a legal, yet still frowned upon by some act, so are we on the way to turning this back into a deviant act and not a criminal one? Common Law = Contemporary Criminal Law. Thanks to Henry II our laws were created and evolved. Cases and laws were written and published and were eventually turned into a bunch of legal rules and principles to hold criminals to (precedent and statutory crimes). It wasn’t until after the American Revolution that the British Common Laws were turned into our criminal law. Today our criminal laws are either a felony or a misdemeanor. Of course criminal law is ever changing based on the other crimes and criminal acts that are brought to light (Megan’s Law 1995; Sexual Predator / Stalking Laws 1996)or ones that some thought would...
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