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Chapter summary Criminal Justice class - Essay Example

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Spiritualism believes that criminals are possessed by evil spirits or demons. This approach, however, produced problems in determining the innocence of the…
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Chapter summary Criminal Justice class
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Chapter summary Criminal Justice class

Download file to see previous pages... The issues of difficulties in establishing innocence and removing the blame from the individual gave birth to the classical school of thought.
Classical theory opposes the spiritual explanations of criminal behavior. It argues that crime is a product of human free will, where people act according to the pain-and-pleasure principle (Lilly et al., 2011, p.20). This principle says that people evaluate the risks and benefits of their actions, including criminal ones. Cesare de Beccaria used democratic liberal ideas and applied them to the field of criminal justice. His book promoted the principle of innocent-until-proven-guilty, due process of law, and ensuring that the punishment is equal to the crime. He believed that punishment should be a crime deterrent and fit the nature and brutality of the crime.
The Positivist school resisted the idea that crime is an outcome of free will and the pain-and-pleasure principle because many factors can lead to it. Cesare Lombroso focused on the biological explanations for human behavior. He argued that brain problems cause criminality, not individual free will. Criminals are born, not made. Enrico Ferri extended the work of Lambroso and stressed that social, political and economic factors contribute to the “making” of criminals (Lilly et al., 2011, p.25). He suggested social changes that can help the poor or disadvantaged criminal to escape his world of crimes. Raffaele Garofalo believed that crimes are actions against the laws of nature (Lilly et al., 2011, p.27). One of the weaknesses of positivism is that their research methods are not strong enough to get convincing results.
These early theories have affected the criminal justice policies and practices of their times. Some of them, including their biases, continue to affect present people and criminal justice principles and behaviors. The authors of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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