CRJ 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice
Instructor Katheryne Rogers
June 18, 2012
Purpose of Criminal Laws
“A law is a rule of conduct, generally found enacted in the form of a statue that prescribes or mandates certain forms of behavior. Laws govern many aspects of our lives, and we are expected to know what the law says as it applies to our daily lives and to follow it; the word law generally contemplates both statuary and case law” (Schmalleger, 2011, pg. 114). “Criminal law is the avenue by which public morality is expressed. Second, criminal law is used to set boundaries within society. Criminal law provides for the punishment of those that violate established societal morals and rules by taking some type of legal action against these individuals; legal actions may include things such as imprisonment, probation, community service, or fines” (What is the Purpose of Criminal Law?, 2011). Therefore, without criminal law people would not know how to react to different illegal situations or what to expect from other individual; people would not feel safe in their homes, work, anywhere’s for that matter. “People would not be able to exercise their basic rights that are available to them as citizens of a free nation; a society needs laws to uphold fairness and to prevent the victimization of innocents” (Schmalleger, 2011, pg. 114). Therefore, it is vital that criminal laws exits, as its purpose is to establish protection of public order within society, prevent crime and punish those that violate these societal regulations. Statutory Law and Case Law
When applying criminal law it is vital to understand and distinguish between statutory law and case law. “Statutory laws are those laws that are legislated by local, state, or federal governments. They are written or codified law; the “law on the books,” as enacted by a government body...