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Old 01-16-2009, 08:17 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,766,638 times
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In our society, there have evolved essentially three types of crimes.
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The first is crimes against the person or property - burglary, robbery, rape, assault, arson, etc.

These first type of crimes are distinguished as they require direct violence against an individual or property. There is a risk of injury or death to the victim, but it is easy for a victim to recognize and possibly defend against.
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The second is crimes against society and money - fraud, passing bad checks, insider trading, forgery, etc.

These second types are crimes in which there is little particularized harm, but a potential large generalized harm unless the activity is stopped. There is no violence against an individual, but the crimes impact society by restricting commerce, or making it more risky. Individuals have little ability to defend against this type of harm, or to recognize it when it appears, but since they are likely to suffer little or no actual harm, they are less watchful for it as well.
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The third is crimes against decency - prostitution, drug use, consensual statutory rape, obscenity, pornography related charges, etc.

In this third type, there is generally no victim, or the victim suffers no concrete harm. Rather, the crimes are outlawed as they relate to society's desire to control certain behaviors.
------------------------------

Regarding these three, we can certainly agree, and lawmakers generally do, that the third type of crime is the least severe. Jail time for the individual crimes of the third type pale in comparison to the first two.

Between the first two then, which is more harmful? A crime against an individual, say assault, only impacts one or two people. But a crime such as credit fraud (falsely charging 10 million credit cards $0.25 each) has little individual harm, but a huge societal cost.

Which should be punished more harshly, crimes against a person or crimes against society?
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Road Warrior
2,015 posts, read 4,713,915 times
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Well a criminal can commit multiple crimes including offense A and offense B. They are to be tried in a court of law which I call the legal system (not necessairly justice). The punishment is determined by the jury except for petty offenses (speeding tickets for example) to be determined by the judge. As to my answer to your question, financial harm can be recovered (ie, insurance), personal harm may not (ie, murder). Although in society the question would be determined by the specific case and the specific jury or judge. Thus why I believe a court case should stick with an unbiased and diverse jury.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The Woods
15,781 posts, read 20,110,593 times
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Crimes against persons are the worst.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:03 AM
 
5,270 posts, read 11,169,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
In our society, there have evolved essentially three types of crimes.
------------------------------
------------------------------
The third is crimes against decency - prostitution, drug use, consensual statutory rape, obscenity, pornography related charges, etc.

In this third type, there is generally no victim, or the victim suffers no concrete harm. Rather, the crimes are outlawed as they relate to society's desire to control certain behaviors.
------------------------------

Regarding these three, we can certainly agree, and lawmakers generally do, that the third type of crime is the least severe. Jail time for the individual crimes of the third type pale in comparison to the first two.

Between the first two then, which is more harmful? A crime against an individual, say assault, only impacts one or two people. But a crime such as credit fraud (falsely charging 10 million credit cards $0.25 each) has little individual harm, but a huge societal cost.

Which should be punished more harshly, crimes against a person or crimes against society?

Consentual statory rape has no victim? A 13 year old girl who has sex is a victim. A hars one at that. Just because she may have said 'yes' doesn't mean the effects aren't going to be felt. Also, that means an older perveted person is preying on her- and she's not a victim? Pornography has no victims? Many women are forced into it. They aren't victims?

All crimes should get an equal review for punishment.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:45 AM
 
8,652 posts, read 14,131,654 times
Reputation: 4542
Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
In our society, there have evolved essentially three types of crimes.
------------------------------
The first is crimes against the person or property - burglary, robbery, rape, assault, arson, etc.

These first type of crimes are distinguished as they require direct violence against an individual or property. There is a risk of injury or death to the victim, but it is easy for a victim to recognize and possibly defend against.
------------------------------
The second is crimes against society and money - fraud, passing bad checks, insider trading, forgery, etc.

These second types are crimes in which there is little particularized harm, but a potential large generalized harm unless the activity is stopped. There is no violence against an individual, but the crimes impact society by restricting commerce, or making it more risky. Individuals have little ability to defend against this type of harm, or to recognize it when it appears, but since they are likely to suffer little or no actual harm, they are less watchful for it as well.
------------------------------
The third is crimes against decency - prostitution, drug use, consensual statutory rape, obscenity, pornography related charges, etc.

In this third type, there is generally no victim, or the victim suffers no concrete harm. Rather, the crimes are outlawed as they relate to society's desire to control certain behaviors.
------------------------------

Regarding these three, we can certainly agree, and lawmakers generally do, that the third type of crime is the least severe. Jail time for the individual crimes of the third type pale in comparison to the first two.

Between the first two then, which is more harmful? A crime against an individual, say assault, only impacts one or two people. But a crime such as credit fraud (falsely charging 10 million credit cards $0.25 each) has little individual harm, but a huge societal cost.

Which should be punished more harshly, crimes against a person or crimes against society?
I didn't see murder in there, I may have just missed it. And Houston had at lease one more of those last night.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Highest county in the Virginia hills
129 posts, read 397,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
...
crimes against the person or property - burglary, robbery, rape, assault, arson, etc.
...
crimes against society and money - fraud, passing bad checks, insider trading, forgery, etc.
I don't see the distinction between stealing by fraud versus stealing by physical theft (as in burglary). White-collar thieves should be treated exactly the same as other thieves.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
2,289 posts, read 4,776,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
I don't see the distinction between stealing by fraud versus stealing by physical theft (as in burglary). White-collar thieves should be treated exactly the same as other thieves.
That sure would change the ... er ... complexion of the prison population.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:30 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,766,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerDuke08 View Post
Well a criminal can commit multiple crimes including offense A and offense B. They are to be tried in a court of law which I call the legal system (not necessairly justice). The punishment is determined by the jury except for petty offenses (speeding tickets for example) to be determined by the judge.
First of all, the judge determines the punishment for a crime. In a number of jurisdictions juries aren't allowed to even hear the punishment for the different felonies the individual is charged with as it could affect their decision. Juries are supposed to be neutral finders of fact, not dispensers of justice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerDuke08 View Post
As to my answer to your question, financial harm can be recovered (ie, insurance)
The problem with this is that insurance imposes a significant social cost. If there's less punishment for fraud, the incidence of fraud goes up, insurance premiums increase, and the cost of doing business increases. This imposes severe harm to individuals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Crimes against persons are the worst.
Even though individuals can protect themselves against crimes against their person, and have little say in their own defense against fraud or identity theft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
Consentual statory rape has no victim? A 13 year old girl who has sex is a victim. A hars one at that. Just because she may have said 'yes' doesn't mean the effects aren't going to be felt. Also, that means an older perveted person is preying on her- and she's not a victim? Pornography has no victims? Many women are forced into it. They aren't victims?
They may be victims, but there's no particularized harm. Their harm is not physical or monetary, but rather the "crime" is against society as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
I didn't see murder in there, I may have just missed it. And Houston had at lease one more of those last night.
Murder goes in the "etc" of the first type I tried to keep some degree of similarity of harm between the three types, where possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
I don't see the distinction between stealing by fraud versus stealing by physical theft (as in burglary). White-collar thieves should be treated exactly the same as other thieves.
The difference is that physical theft carries with it the risk of physical injury to a victim, while having a lesser overall effect on the economy. So-called "white collar" or economic crimes have a wider effect and often involve more money, but there's no physical threat against the victim.

I'm not saying "white collar" crime is any less destructive, just that there is a difference.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Highest county in the Virginia hills
129 posts, read 397,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
The difference is that physical theft carries with it the risk of physical injury to a victim
No, that's not true.

If I break into your house while nobody is there and steal a bunch of things, or steal your parked car, there is no more risk of injury to you than if I steal the same value from you by means of some more refined scam.

Of course, if I mug you on the street, or jack the car at gunpoint, that's another story--the threat, or actual infliction, of harm to the person is an additional crime beyond the simple property theft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by criminal.findlaw.com
Unlike robbery, which involves use of force or fear to obtain another person's property, there is usually no victim present during a burglary.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:45 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,766,638 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
No, that's not true.

If I break into your house while nobody is there and steal a bunch of things, or steal your parked car, there is no more risk of injury to you than if I steal the same value from you by means of some more refined scam.

Of course, if I mug you on the street, or jack the car at gunpoint, that's another story--the threat, or actual infliction, of harm to the person is an additional crime beyond the simple property theft.
The crime has with it the risk of physical harm. What if a burglar is wrong about the house being vacant? What if I left my 5-year-old kid in the car and he's hiding behind a seat?

Passing a bad check does not inherently involve the risk of physical harm.
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