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Victimless Crimes Sociology - Essay Example

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Victimless Crimes Name of the of the University/College June 7, 2012 Victimless Crimes Victimless crimes are generally understood as consensual crimes where no third party is directly harmed or involved. Consenting adults are involved in victimless crimes and as a result none of the participants complain regarding the crime…
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Victimless Crimes Sociology Essay
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Victimless Crimes Sociology

Download file to see previous pages... Similarly, as no third party is harmed by the act no one is interested in protesting against it or complaining to the police regarding the crime. Even though there are so many types of victimless crimes the most commonly identified crimes are gambling, drug use, pornography, prostitution, and homosexuality. On the other hand, there are many who regard victimless crimes as offences against the community as these violate the community’s moral codes. While victimless crimes such as the possession of banned drugs for personal use or consensual sex between two teenagers apparently do not harm any third parties these have negative impacts on the overall functioning of the society in the long run. This paper seeks to explore the various types of victimless crimes, unearths the underlying theories that govern victimless crimes and points out the relevance of criminalization of victimless crimes on the society. The criminalization of victimless crimes has evoked a number of responses regarding its legitimacy as well as state’s exercise of power in prosecuting such crimes. There are many who regard victimless crimes as legitimate; for them, it is quite illegal for the state to exercise its power to prosecute citizens who indulge in victimless crimes. ...
two consenting adults, acts which some substantial part of the population regards as legitimate.” Adult involvements in drugs, gambling, and prostitution are the three most common forms of victimless crimes and all these crimes are consensual crimes that take place with the consent of all parties involved in it. In the same way, many researchers and scholars have pointed out that criminalization of victimless crimes culminated in adverse effects in the past: “…. the costs of criminalization too great and the results not only minimal but actually counterproductive to the professed goal” (Hardaway, 2003, p. 2). For instance, the prohibition of drinking alcohol in the United States in the 1920s turned many social drinkers to criminals and contributed to the growth of organized crimes (Fernandez, 2002, p. 13). Thus, it can be seen that criminal laws aimed at punishing victimless crimes often led to more crimes and violence. Similarly, the prosecution of victimless crimes raises key questions about the exercise of one’s individual freedom. When the state prosecutes and punishes victimless crimes it tries to impose certain moral values on its citizens; while punishing victimless crimes the state “seems to be legislating morality rather than respecting the exercise of individual freedom” (Fernandez, 2002, p. 11). When the state prohibits consensual crimes it encroaches upon the concepts of liberty and freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution of the nation. The question is whether the government should uphold the moral standards of the society or the personal liberty of its citizens. Veneziano, in this respect, purports that “if the individuals involved are consenting adults, they should be free in a democratic society to engage in these behaviors, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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