Crime: Its Cause & Treatment

Crime: Its Cause & Treatment

by Clarence Darrow
     
 

PREFACE


This book comes from the reflections and experience of more than forty
years spent in court. Aside from the practice of my profession, the
topics I have treated are such as have always held my interest and
inspired a taste for books that discuss the human machine with its
manifestations and the causes of its varied activity. I…  See more details below

Overview

PREFACE


This book comes from the reflections and experience of more than forty
years spent in court. Aside from the practice of my profession, the
topics I have treated are such as have always held my interest and
inspired a taste for books that discuss the human machine with its
manifestations and the causes of its varied activity. I have endeavored
to present the latest scientific thought and investigation bearing upon
the question of human conduct. I do not pretend to be an original
investigator, nor an authority on biology, psychology or philosophy. I
have simply been a student giving the subject such attention as I could
during a fairly busy life. No doubt some of the scientific conclusions
stated are still debatable and may finally be rejected. The scientific
mind holds opinions tentatively and is always ready to reexamine, modify
or discard as new evidence comes to light.

Naturally in a book of this sort there are many references to the human
mind and its activities. In most books, whether scientific or not, the
mind has generally been more closely associated with the brain than any
other portion of the body. As a rule I have assumed that this view of
mind and brain is correct. Often I have referred to it as a matter of
course. I am aware that the latest investigations seem to establish the
mind more as a function of the nervous system and the vital organs than
of the brain. Whether the brain is like a telephone exchange and is only
concerned with automatically receiving and sending out messages to the
different parts of the body, or whether it registers impressions and
compares them and is the seat of consciousness and thought, is not
important in this discussion. Whatever mind may be, or through whatever
part of the human system it may function, can make no difference in the
conclusions I have reached.

The physical origin of such abnormalities of the mind as are called
"criminal" is a comparatively new idea. The whole subject has long been
dealt with from the standpoint of metaphysics. Man has slowly banished
chance from the material world and left behavior alone outside the realm
of cause and effect. It has not been long since insanity was treated as
a moral defect. It is now universally accepted as a functional defect of
the human structure in its relation to environment.

My main effort is to show that the laws that control human behavior are
as fixed and certain as those that control the physical world. In fact,
that the manifestations of the mind and the actions of men are a part of
the physical world.

I am fully aware that this book will be regarded as a plea or an
apology for the criminal. To hold him morally blameless could be nothing
else. Still if man's actions are governed by natural law, the sooner it
is recognized and understood, the sooner will sane treatment be adopted
in dealing with crime. The sooner too will sensible and humane remedies
be found for the treatment and cure of this most perplexing and painful
manifestation of human behavior. I have tried conscientiously to
understand the manifold actions of men and if I have to some degree
succeeded, then to that extent I have explained and excused. I am
convinced that if we were all-wise and all-understanding, we could not
condemn.

I have not thought it best to encumber the book with references and
foot-notes, for the reason that statistics and opinions on this subject
are conflicting and imperfect, and the results after all must rest on a
broad scientific understanding of life and the laws that control human
action. Although the conclusions arrived at are in variance with popular
opinions and long-settled practice, I am convinced that they are old
truths and are in keeping with the best thought of the time.

I am aware that scientifically the words "crime" and "criminal" should
not be used. These words are associated with the idea of uncaused and
voluntary actions. The whole field is a part of human behavior and
should not be separated from the other manifestations of life. I have
retained the words because they have a popular significance which is
easy to follow.

CLARENCE DARROW.

Chicago, August 1, 1922.




CONTENTS


Chapter

I. WHAT IS CRIME?
II. PURPOSE OF PUNISHMENT
III. RESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIME
IV. ENVIRONMENT
V. ADJUSTING HEREDITY AND ENVIRONMENT
VI. PSYCHOLOGY OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT
VII. THE CRIMINAL
VIII. THE FEMALE CRIMINAL
IX. THE JUVENILE CRIMINAL
X. HOMICIDE
XI. SEX CRIMES
XII. ROBBERY AND BURGLARY
XIII. MAN AS A PREDATORY ANIMAL
XIV. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014969345
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
07/18/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
173 KB

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