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Relationship Between Crime and Sin, Essay Example

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This delicate question would not doubt be answered differently by different theologians based on the assumptions held about the nature of moral teaching. Vatican II[1] teaches that doctrine can be infallibly taught in three ways, (1) by the pope whenperforming his duties as supreme shepherd and teacher of the universal church, he proclaims in a definitive act a doctrine of faith or morals, (2) by pope and bishops gathered together in a general council when they teach definitively on a matter of morals, and (3) by the widespreadand commonMagisterium of the church, such as when the bishops dispersed throughout the world, united in a relationship among themselves and with the heirof Peter, agree on a judgment as one to be definitively held. Assertions proposed in any of these three ways are, according to Catholic teaching, protected from error by the Holy Spirit and hence are known to be true and irreformable.

Any moral judgment, therefore, not asserted in sacred scripture nor proposed in one of these three ways is not known with certitude to be true and, therefore, is in principle can be changed. And if none of the propositions mentioned above specifying the church’s traditional teaching on the permissibility of punishment have been asserted in the Bible or otherwise proposed reliably, then the church’s traditional judgment on the morality of punishment can in principle be revised.

The search for more plausible biologically related explanations for the origins of crime began in earnest in the 1970s by scientists who, guided by Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory[2], hypothesized that the aggression associated with criminal behavior is an innate characteristic of human species. Darwin asserted that any given time, the characteristics of all life forms – from the tiniest microbes to the largest mammals and including human beings – are the result of changes brought about many generations through the process of “natural selection”. Natural selection occurs because, within a given species, there is genetically influenced variability among individuals in terms of appearance and behavior. Those individuals whose inherited characteristics help adapt to their environment by eluding predators, withstanding the elements, and finding food and water are the most likely to survive and successfully mate and produce offspring, thus passing on their genetic heritage to the next generation.

In adversarial tradition, following the principles of Aeschylus laid down twenty-five hundred years ago in his tragic drama the Eumenides[3], opposing truth claims are publicly tried in the search for justice. As one argued five hundred years ago, there is nothing deceitful in testing out claims to truth and justice that may or may not ultimately be deemed worthy of belief. Indeed, under the conditions of uncertainty that typically prevail in such situations, all we have is good judgment. Absent any better guarantee, our best hope for truth and justice rests in the most persuasive warrants for believing particular claims under particular circumstances.

Truth may never be guaranteed, but there are discrete strategies that may be undertaken in its behalf. The first step is to determine the kind of truth being sought, and the means by which we seek it. Adversaries may lay claim to different kinds of truth in any situation. Factual truth, symbolic truth, or some overriding legal principle may be warranted. That is a matter for the decision make in question, whether judge or juror, to determine. Similarly, the means undertaken in its behalf may be tested: is the chosen strategy of persuasion illicit? Does it do the justice to the kind of truth that it serves, or does it rely upon skewed data, hidden impulses, or illegitimate to irrelevant self-gratification?

The resemblance of the English Bill of Rights to the eighteenth century’s American Bill of Rights is striking, and one could argue that the Americans were more radicalized by the Glorious Revolution than the Englishmen.The makers of the Bill of Rights did not actually believe they were creating new rights. Instead, they were attempting to the newly formed federal government encroaching on rights previously considered as segments of the English legalinheritance.The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for the protection against self-incrimination. This inalienable right dates back to common law principles evolving in ancient times. This specifically says that “no person…shall be a witness against himself or be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process…”[4]Not surprisingly, when Madison crafted his twelve-proposed constitutional amendments he had done so after conferring with Anti-Federalist leaders. The originally English settlers had carried all their rights with them, and passed these rights on to their descendants as a birthright and a patrimony. Importantly, the English inheritance – the rights of Englishmen – informed Madison’s work on the Bill of Rights.

To begin with, one should note the obvious point that participatory nature of the Athenian legal system produced this situation of choice. It is a commonplace of modern scholarship of Roman law that Athenian law, in contrast to modern legal systems, is characterized by a multiplicity of actions. This is not entirely accurate, however, for the salient feature at Athens is not that there are more possible actions but rather it is up to the victim (or other citizens) which actions to choose. In the United States today, criminal defendants tend to be charged with a wide array of multiple offenses arising out of single acts, but by professional strategy. In addition, victims can sue for civil damages, alleging multiple causes of action based upon alternative theories of recovery. In Athens, however, individual citizens decided whether or not to pursue criminal prosecutions, and if so, of what nature. The real difference, then, is not multiplicity of actions, but rather the absence of governmental prosecutorial entity and the total reliance on individual initiative.

Marxist-based explanations of crime encompass a range of different approaches with different emphasis and nuances, which have been categorized under various headings including critical criminology, radical criminology, left realism and left idealism.Neither Marx nor his collaborator and colleagues proposed a full-blown theory of crime; nor it has been later social theorists working with a Marxist framework who have developed Marxist theory of crime.Thus many forms of crime are to be expected under a capitalist system. This is due, in part, to the ability of the powerful to criminalize that which threatens their interests; and to the fact that basic motivations of capitalist societies, such as materialism and self-enrichment, can be pursued illegally as well as legally. In relation to criminal behavior one of the crucial questions for Marxist is not “why does crime occur?” but rather ‘why does not it occur more often?’For example, take a look at the decision of Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case Real Time Civil Engineering LTD v. Mr. D. Callaghan.  Mr. Callaghan ended up being defined as a non-employee, because, while he had a contract stating that, should he be unable to fulfill his shifts as a lorry driver, he had the right to find a substitute, his practice had been to let the company find a substitute driver for him on days when he was unable to work.  Because of this, the appeal court found that Mr. Callaghan’s working arrangement did not meet the “irreducible minimum requirement of personal service,” and so Mr. Callaghan was denied employment rights.[5]

Among the characteristics worth comparing is the fact that the French police have been a part of central government for seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries[6]. The military tradition of the police is much more pronounced than that of the Britain, which, like the United States, has established a quasi-military character. Moreover each government has enhanced the authority of the police. Thus, the mission of the police has remained fairly consistent, irrespective of the regime in power. Another characteristic is the extent to which French police are allowed to intervene in the lives of citizens. While the British police have occasionally been accused of overstepping their bounds, they nevertheless see their role as largely the prevention and detection of crime. French police, however, claim a much more extensive right of intervention.

The French police also have had a long and close link with judicial authorities. The lieutenants-general and the commissioners of police were magistrates. Although the police no longer have such powers, they do work in close conjunction with the judiciary because of the nature of criminal procedural process. In any event, French citizens usually do not make as clear a distinction between the role of the police and that of the judiciary as do British and United States citizens. Both police and judiciary are viewed as agents of the state with a common mission.

Finally, the local involvement in providing police services offers an interesting comparison. In England, there has been long-standing tradition of local community input. Although the success of this endeavor has become highly suspect in recent years, as more centralized administrative features appear in the English police service, at least the mechanism is in place. Moreover, the English are fond of proclaiming that the police are merely citizens in uniform. In France, throughout most of this century, the emphasis has been on establishing police forces that essentially administered, managed, and coordinated nationally. Police are representatives of the state and perceive themselves as such. Recently, however, there has been an interest in establishing municipal police forces that are accountable to the local authorities.

Regulatory agency staff may be affected by what psychologists describe as a context-dependent reaction, or a moderation bias. Decisions about penalty severity might be affected by the existence of an even more severe layer of (criminal) penalties and a formal review structure for analyzing whether an agency should impose (or recommend) maximally severe (criminal) penalties. Adding a layer of maximally severe criminal penalties may lead agency staff to view its more severe civil penalties as more appropriate than it would in the absence of the availability of criminal sanctions. This effect may play a role even if the criminal penalties are not routinely used. In addition, the bureaucratic entities representing the state gain additional negotiating leverage from the presence of criminal sanctions. Regulators can advance environmental compliance goals by leveraging criminal penalties to negotiate occupational disqualification provisions for company executives. The presence and use of criminal penalties can help generate considerable publicity about regulatory violations, raising private actors’ cost of noncompliance. Together, these factors almost certainly impacted the behavior of chronic occupational safety violators like McWane, Inc[7]. McWane faced repeated civil sanctions as stray machinery injured its workers and placed their lives at risk, but it did not materially change its practices until it faced severe criminal prosecution.

The public safety practitionersare routinely thrust into interaction with the law enforcement officer. These relationships vary, depending on agencies, individuals, and even situations. There are long standing petty jealousies between the fire services and the police service. Some are labor oriented; who is paid how much, who get what kind of work schedule, whose work is more dangerous or more difficult, etc. Others are work oriented, as law enforcement chafes at traffic flow disrupted by fire trucks blocking the streets, or investigators finding their crime scenes disturbed or destroyed by firefighters or rescue personnel conducting their operations prior to the beginning of police investigation[8].

The entire public safety community, including the law enforcement field, must form closer relationships as the roles and challenges of public safety evolve. To achieve better relations, better communication must be established. For police, this is often easy, as patrol officers will use fire stations as quick stops, where they can borrow a phone or a desk, safely eat a meal, and as communications develop between personnel take quick breaks to talk to friends and relax, away from the streets and the demands of the public. Emergency rooms also provide safe havens for officers, where they can scratch out a report, take a break enjoying a cup and conversation, and improve relations among professionals.

[1] See Anthony J. Figueiredo, “The Magisterium-theology relationship: contemporary theological conceptions in the light of universal church teaching since 1835 and the pronouncements of the bishops of the United States”, 2001, p. 414-416.

[2] See Ian Marsh and Gaynor Melville, “Theories of Crime”, 2006, p. 144-146.

[3] See Alan H. Sommerstein, “Eumenides”, 1989 for more details.

[4] Fifthth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Retrieved online from

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html#amendmentiv

[5]Employment Appeal Tribunal, Real Time Civil Engineering LTD v. Mr. D. Callaghan, retrieved online fromhttp://www.employmentappeals.gov.uk/Public/Upload/UK0516059122005.doc

[6] See David D. Friedman, “Law’s order: what economics has to do with law and why it matters”, 2001, p. 273-280 for a detailed discussion on criminal law enforcement in France and England.

[7]See Michael L. Benson and Sally S. Simpson, “White-collar Crime: An Opportunity Perspective”, 2009, p. 134.

[8] See Suzanne Bell, “Crime and Circumstance: Investigating the history of forensic science”, 2008.

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