Classical School of Criminology

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Punishment Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: April 6, 2011
Creating a telemarketing scheme targeting customers by providing false promises was the major issue in United States vs. Woods. The classical originated in the late 1700’s. Before this stage in thinking, it was believed that people who committed crimes were possessed by an evil entity or the devil (Cole, 52). The classical school of criminology views behaviors as stemming from free will, demands responsibility and accountability of all perpetrators, and stresses the need for punishments severe enough to deter offenders (Cole, 52). The major aspect of the classical school of criminology is that an individual has the choice and rationality to commit or not commit a crime by weighing out the benefits and costs. The view of criminology also viewed the type of punishment fitting the crime rather than the person.

The case of United States vs. Woods is a perfect example of someone weighing the costs and benefits of the crime, then committing the crime, in this case mail fraud and wire fraud. From 1995 until 1997, two individuals participated in a telemarketing scheme. The companies name Magtopia, Inc. (MTI) (Lippman, 514). These two individuals had a the company employees calling potential customers offering a chance to win a wonderful prize; such as diamond watches, a car, a cashier’s check for $2,500 dollars, or a new television, if the potential customer would send money that represented in the value between three hundred and eight hundred dollars. When the potential customer seemed intreseted the “opener” would pass the call to the “closer” or as they would call a manager. The “closer” was in charge of making sure in convincing the potential customer in sending the check. In fact the check was for the purchase of magazines and the potential customer was never informed of this (Lippman, 515).

The potential customer never received any such prize or in some cases neither prize nor magazines. When this case went to trail the defendants tried to appeal the ruling...
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