SOCI111 B007 Sum 11
Sociology and Crime
Professor Lori Kelley
Sociology and Crime
In recent news titled, “Columbia Student to be Sentenced to 6 Months over Drug Ring”, the reporter John Eligon has unveiled the story of a Columbia University student. The news which has been published in the New York Times site reveals the case of Harrison David, who has been sentenced for selling cocaine in the university premises. This news is the example of the crime in the society. Brief Summary: The student named Harrison David, who studied in the Columbia University used to sell cocaine and he is said to have formed a gang which includes some other students. Four other students have also been suspected in this connection and they have pending charges on them. David who is the main culprit had been sentenced six years jail and after end of his term he will have to serve for five years probation. The main charge on David includes the keeping of second degree banned drug. As per law he should be sentenced for ten years but since he is studying and the plea included the third degree sale of drug, so he may get a minimum sentence. David also admitted that he has sold the drug to an undercover officer. David’s lawyer requested for a minimum punishment as he was a student and his career was at stake. The lawyer also said that he will try to get a relief certificate from the judge. Analysis:
The given case is an example of the juvenile delinquency. The case has many sociological concepts linked to it and on the basis of these concepts the case can be analyzed as follows: 1. Social stratification: The stratification is the categorization of various people in the society. This concept can be applied here as the negative factor, David has his own lawyer and it means he belongs to a rich family. So, in this case we see that the social stratification gives rise to a discrimination in the criminal justice system also. As if it had been some other person except David the he might have been sent to jail on long term. 2. Status: The determinant of the position of a person in the society is called the status of the person. The status determines the place of the person in the society. In this case the status of the culprit has played its role in making the punishment less, disregarding the offence committed. 3. Deviance: This sociological concept determines the ways in which a person or group of persons violates the social rules and it occurs due to varied cultures. The deviance in this case occurred when David deviated from the university culture and he sold the banned drugs. The reason could be the psychological or genetic one. 4. Crime: The crime can be defined as the violation of the norms of the society. The crime is an offence which gets a lawful punishment. In this case the unlawful act of David got punished through the law and court and he was sentenced to six year jail. 5. Conflict Theory: According to this theory, the law is a device which helps the influential and powerful people in times of crime just like law helped David to get a less punishment for the act which should get him an imprisonment of ten years. 6. Criminal Justice System: The criminal justice system includes all the law governing bodies like the courts, prisons, police and judges etc. The system has gone ill reputed due to the lawyers like David’s lawyer, who fight wrong cases and try to get them minimum imprisonment.
Eligon, J. (2011). Columbia Student to Be Sentenced to 6 Months Over Drug Ring. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/columbia-student-to-face-6-months-in-jail-over-drug-ring/?ref=crimeandcriminals.
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