ARSON… WHAT IS IT?
Houston Community College
Criminal Justice 1301
Arson is one of the world’s oldest known crimes. It can cost a life or a generous amount of money in damages. Even though it can take a person’s life, arson is classified as a property crime to law enforcement agencies. It is time consuming and very difficult to investigate. Only twenty percent of arrests result in a conviction because it is classified as a “property crime” rather than a violent crime. The motives of arson range from profit to murder. People who use arson use it because it’s a quick easy act of terrorism to a person or company they are trying to hurt. I believe there should be more and better adequate training for investigators and prosecutors to put away the people that can commit such a crime.
The United States has one of the highest fire death rates in the world. In 1998 the “NFPA reported about 14.9 deaths per million population. Between 1994 and 1998 about 4,400 Americans died and about 35,100 were injured yearly. Also about 100 firefighters a year lost their lives in their hazardous job related duties.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arson) Fires kill more Americans a year than natural disasters combined. Arson is the most expensive crime committed, this can be attributed to the several factors which are the lack of education on the problems of arson, and prosecutors do not want to take on the case because of circumstantial evidence, quick payments from insurance companies, and inadequate training for investigators. Legal arson is categorized in two categories; aggravated arson and arson. “Aggravated arson is burning of property while endangering human life. Arson is burning of property that does not include the risk of human life. “ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arson) Fire crime scenes begin like any other investigation. The trick is to connect the suspect to the crime. There are clues to determine if a fire is suspicious or...
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