Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Crime and Criminology / Edition 11by Thomas Hickey, Thomas Devaney
Pub. Date: 09/13/2013
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Collection on Create, or
The Taking Sides Collection on McGraw-Hill Create™ includes current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. This Collection contains a multitude of current and classic issues to enhance and customize your course. You can browse the entire Taking Sides Collection on Create, or you can search by topic, author, or keywords. Each Taking Sides issues is thoughtfully framed with Learning Outcomes, an Issue Summary, an Introduction, and an Exploring the Issue section featuring Critical Thinking and Reflection, Is There Common Ground?, and Additional Resources and Internet References. Go to McGraw-Hill Create™ at www.mcgrawhillcreate.com, click on the "Collections" tab, and select The Taking Sides Collection to browse the entire Collection. Select individual Taking Sides issues to enhance your course, or access and select the entire Hickey: Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Crime and Criminology, 11/e ExpressBook for an easy, pre-built teaching resource by clicking here. An online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing material is available for each Taking Sides volume. Using Taking Sides in the Classroom is also an excellent instructor resource. Visit the Create Central Online Learning Center at www.mhhe.com/createcentral for more details.
Table of Contents
Unit: Explanations of Crime
Issue: Is Crime Beneficial to Society?
YES: Emile Durkheim, from “The Normal and the Pathological,” The Rules of Sociological Method, 1938
NO: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, from “Defining Deviancy Down,” The American Scholar, 1993
Classic sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) theorizes that crime reaffirms moral boundaries and helps bring about needed social changes. Former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York) argues that modern crime has gone way beyond the point of being functional.
Issue: Is Criminal Behavior Determined Biologically?
YES: Adrian Raine, from “The Biological Basis of Crime,” in James Q. Wilson and John Petersilia, eds., Crime: Public Policies for Crime Control, 2002
NO: Jeffrey H. Reiman, from “Crime Control in America,” The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 1998
Adrian Raine argues that one of the principal reasons why we have been so unsuccessful in preventing adult crime is because crime control policies have systematically ignored the biological side of human behavior. Professor Jeffrey Reiman asserts that social forces create the conditions that become sources of crime in American society.
Issue: Is a Person’s Body Type Clearly Linked to Criminal Behavior?
YES: Sean Maddan, Jeffery T. Walker, and J. Mitchell Miller, from “Physique, Somatotypes and Crime.” 2009
NO: Chris L. Gibson and Kevin M. Beaver, from “Does Body Type Really Have an Effect on Criminal Behavior?” 2009
Professors Maddan, Walker, and Miller argue that body type is related to criminal behavior because most of the criminals have muscular body builds. In other words, there is a strong correlation between a person’s body build and criminal behavior. Professors Gibson and Beaver argue, in contrast, that both biological and social factors lead to criminal behavior and that no single variable, such as body build, can explain crime. Moreover, they assert that while body type may be a predisposing factor for crime, but that predisposition will surface only under certain environmental conditions.
Issue: Does a “Warrior Gene” Make People More Prone to Violence?
YES: Kevin M. Beaver and Joseph A. Schwartz, from “MAOA Genotype Contributes to Violent and Criminal Behaviors,” adapted from Beaver, K. M., DeLisi, M., Vaughn, M. G., & Barnes, J. C. “Monoamine Oxidase A Genotype Is Associated with Gang Membership and Weapon Use.” Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2010
NO: Joshua W. Buckholtz, from “Neuroprediction and Crime.” NOVA ScienceNOW, 2012
Professors Kevin M. Beaver and Joseph A. Schwartz argue that a “Warrior Gene” has been demonstrated to be related to aggressive and violent behavior. In fact, humans with a low-activity form of the MAOA gene are much more prevalent in populations with a history of warfare. These individuals are also more likely to join gangs and to use weapons in committing crimes than other persons. Professor Joshua W. Buckholtz, in contrast, asserts that the “Warrior Gene” theory has as much power to explain and predict the actions of an individual as a deck of tarot cards. Moreover, he believes that although genes may be able to influence our behavior, the environment in which we live influences our genes as well.
Unit: Contemporary Public Policy Issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Issue: Does the United States Have a Right to Torture Suspected Terrorists?
YES: Andrew A. Moher, from “The Lesser of Two Evils? An Argument for Judicially Sanctioned Torture in a Post–9/11 World,” Thomas Jefferson Law Review, 2004
NO: Elisa Massimino, from “Leading by Example? U.S. Interrogation of Prisoners in the War on Terror,” Criminal Justice Ethics, 2004
Attorney Andrew Moher argues that judicially sanctioned torture of terrorists is appropriate for the purpose of preventing a greater evil. He further contends a judicially monitored system in the United States would be far superior to the current policy of practicing torture “under the radar screen” in other countries. Elisa Massimino believes that the use of torture is immoral and counterproductive for the United States. She asserts that if the United States wishes to rely on the protections of the Geneva Conventions, then it must comply with its provisions prohibiting the torture of prisoners.
Issue: Is Racial Profiling an Acceptable Law Enforcement Strategy?
YES: Jared Taylor and Glayde Whitney, from “Racial Profiling: Is There an Empirical Basis?” Mankind Quarterly, 2002
NO: Michael J. Lynch, from “Misleading ‘Evidence’ and the Misguided Attempt to Generate Racial Profiles of Criminals; Correcting Fallacies and Calculations Concerning Race and Crime in Taylor and Whitney’s Analysis of Racial Profiling,” Mankind Quarterly, 2002
Jared Taylor, president of the New Century Foundation, and Glayde Whitney argue that the disparity in crimes committed by members of different races justifies racial profiling by the police. Professor Michael Lynch, however, argues that a proper analysis of the crime data does not support Taylor and Whitney’s conclusions. He finds racial profiling to be objectionable from a legal and moral perspective as well.
Issue: Should Juvenile Courts Be Abolished?
YES: Barry C. Feld, from Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court, 1999
NO: Vincent Schiraldi and Jason Ziedenberg, from The Florida Experiment: An Analysis of the Impact of Granting Prosecutors Discretion to Try Juveniles as Adults, The Justice Policy Institute, 1999
Law professor Barry C. Feld contends that creating a separate juvenile court system has resulted in unanticipated negative consequences for America’s children and for justice. Vincent Schiraldi, director of the Justice Policy Institute, and researcher Jason Ziedenberg maintain that moving thousands of kids into adult courts is unnecessary, harmful, and racist.
Issue: Is Exposure to Pornography Related to Increased Rates of Rape?
YES: Diana E. H. Russell, from Dangerous Relationships: Pornography, Misogyny, and Rape, Sage, 1998
NO: Anthony D’Amato, from “Porn Up, Rape Down,” Northwestern Public Law Research Paper, 2006
Diana Russell argues that the evidence is overwhelming that exposure to pornography is a major causal factor of rape. She utilizes the concept of “multiple causation” to explain the relationship between pornography and rape. Anthony D’Amato contends that the incidence of rape has declined 85 percent in the last 25 years while access to pornography via the Internet has become more widely available to teenagers and adults.
Issue: Should It Be a Crime to Download Copyrighted Music from the Internet?
YES: Barry Shrum, from “The Magical Ring of Gyges: Why Illegal Downloading Is So Rampant in the Age of Cyberspace,” Law on the Row, 2011
NO: Janis Ian, from “The Internet DebacleAn Alternative View,” Performing Songwriter Magazine, 2002
Attorney Barry Shrum argues that downloading music illegally from the Internet is wrong morally and should be considered a crime because it fails to pay creative individuals for their intellectual property. Moreover, because approximately 95 percent of the music downloaded from the Internet is done so illegally, the problem is a very compelling one. Noted recording artist and songwriter Janis Ian, in contrast, believes that there is no evidence to support the proposition that material available for free online downloading is harming anyone, especially the artists who produce it. In fact, free downloading may actually benefit the majority of artists because it allows them potentially to reach millions of new listeners, who may later purchase CDs and attend their live concerts.
Issue: Are Supermax (Control Unit) Prisons an Appropriate Way to Punish Hardened Criminals?
YES: Gregory L. Hershberger, from “To the Max,” Corrections Today, 1998
NO: Daniel P. Mears, from “A Critical Look at Supermax Prisons,” Corrections Compendium, 2005
Federal Bureau of Prisons regional director Gregory Hershberger contends that the challenges posed by hardened prison inmates support confining dangerous offenders in supermax prison facilities. Professor Daniel Mears argues that supermax prisons are an unproductive response to our crime problems. Moreover, they are incredibly expensive and prevent states from developing correctional programs that may actually be much more effective.
Issue: Do Three-Strikes Sentencing Laws and Other “Get Tough” Approaches to Crime Really Work?
YES: Eugene H. Methvin, from “Mugged by Reality,” Policy Review, 1997
NO: David Shichor, from “Three Strikes as a Public Policy,” Crime & Delinquency, 1997
Eugene Methvin, senior editor for Reader’s Digest, contends that a very small number of juveniles and adults commit the majority of serious crimes. The main solution to the crime problem, then, is to identify them as early as possible and increase the punishments each time they offend, eventually incarcerating the repeat offenders. Professor of criminal justice David Shichor argues that “three strikes” laws are costly, inefficient, unfair, and do little to reduce crime.
Issue: Does Imprisoning Drug Offenders Reduce Crime Rates?
YES: Ilyana Kuziemko and Steven D. Levitt, from “An Empirical Analysis of Imprisoning Drug Offenders,” Journal of Public Economics, 2004
NO: Dave Bewley-Taylor, Chris Hallam, and Rob Allen, from “Report 16: The Incarceration of Drug Offenders: An Overview,” The Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme, 2009
Professors Ilyana Kuziemko and Steven D. Levitt argue that incarcerating drug offenders is almost as effective in reducing violent and property crime as locking up other types of offenders. Professors Bewley-Taylor, Hallam, and Allen, in contrast, assert that increasing incarceration rates for drug offenders throughout the world has had only a marginal and/or temporary impact upon the illegal drug market and generates many negative financial and collateral costs.
Issue: Should Private “For-Profit” Corporations Be Allowed to Run U.S. Prisons?
YES: Wayne H. Calabrese, from “Low Cost, High Quality, Good Fit: Why Not Privatization?” in Privatizing Correctional Institutions, 1996
NO: Jeff Sinden, from “The Problem of Prison Privatization: The U.S. Experience,” in Capitalist Punishment: Prison Privatization & Human Rights, 2003
Wayne H. Calabrese, vice president of the Wackenhut
Corporationargues that the privatization of U.S. prisons saves money and provides quality services. Jeff Sinden, managing editor of Human Rights Tribune, contends that the private prison industry has failed to achieve substantial cost savings and that there have been systemic human rights abuses in for-profit correctional institutions.
Issue: Is Capital Punishment a Bad Public Policy?
YES: David Von Drehle, from “Miscarriage of Justice: Why the Death Penalty Doesn’t Work,” The Washington Post, 1995
NO: Ernest van den Haag, from “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense,” Harvard Law Review, 1986
David Von Drehle, a writer and the arts editor for The Washington Post, examines specific capital punishment cases and data and concludes that capital punishment is a bad social policy. Ernest van den Haag, a professor of jurisprudence and public policy (now retired), maintains that the death penalty is just retribution for heinous crime.
Unit: Trends in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Issue: Should Serious Sex Offenders Be Castrated?
YES: Lawrence Wright, from “The Case for Castration,” Texas Monthly, 1992
NO: Kari A. Vanderzyl, from “Castration as an Alternative to Incarceration: An Impotent Approach to the Punishment of Sex Offenders,” Northern Illinois University Law Review, 1994
Attorney Lawrence Wright argues that while castration may not be an ideal solution, if we treat it as therapy rather than punishment, as help instead of revenge, and if we view offenders as troubled victims, not monsters, then perhaps castration will become an accepted and humane option for sex offender treatment. Attorney Kari A. Vanderzyl asserts that castration should be rejected as an unacceptable, ineffective, and unconstitutional alternative to imprisonment for sex offenders.
Issue: Do Strict Gun Control Laws Reduce the Number of Homicides in the United States?
YES: Franklin E. Zimring, from “Firearms, Violence, and the Potential Impact of Firearms Control,” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2004
NO: Lance K. Stell, from “The Production of Criminal Violence in America: Is Strict Gun Control the Solution?” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2004
Professor Franklin E. Zimring argues that there is a strong relationship between gun use and the death rate from violent crime and that handgun use increases the death rate from violence by a factor of 3–5. Professor Lance K. Stell asserts that strict gun control institutionalizes the natural predatory advantages of larger, stronger, violence-prone persons and increases the risks of violent victimization for less well-off, law-abiding citizens.
Issue: Should the Police Enforce Zero Tolerance Laws?
YES: George L. Kelling and William J. Bratton, from “Declining Crime Rates,” The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 1998
NO: Judith A. Greene, from “Zero Tolerance,” Crime & Delinquency, 1999
George L. Kelling, a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and William J. Bratton, former New York City Police Department commissioner, strongly defend Kelling’s formulation of zero tolerance/broken windows theory and Bratton’s implementation of Kelling’s ideas. Judith A. Greene, senior fellow of the Institute on Criminal Justice of the University of Minnesota Law School, compares New York’s policing style with San Diego’s community policing model and argues that the latter is as effective and less costly.
Issue: Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
YES: Ethan A. Nadelmann, from “An End to Marijuana Prohibition: The Drive to Legalize Picks Up,” National Review, 2004
NO: Charles D. Stimson, from “Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No,” Legal Memorandum No. 56, 2010
Ethan A. Nadelmann, the founder and director of the Drug Policy Alliance, contends that contemporary marijuana laws are unique among American criminal laws because no other law is both enforced so widely and yet deemed unnecessary by such a substantial portion of the public. Enforcing marijuana laws also wastes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars annually. Charles D. Stimson, a senior legal fellow in the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, argues that marijuana legalization will increase crime, drug use, and social dislocationthe exact opposite of what pro-legalization advocates promise. Moreover, he believes that there is substantial evidence to suggest that legalizing marijuana would lead to greater problems of addiction, violence, disorder, and death.
Unit: The U.S. Supreme Court, Crime, and the Justice System
Issue: Does the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Protect the Right to Possess a Firearm?
YES: Antonin E. Scalia, from Majority Opinion, District of Columbia v. Heller, U.S.Supreme Court, 2008
NO: John Paul Stevens, from Dissenting Opinion, District of Columbia v. Heller, U.S. Supreme Court, 2008
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), held that a District of Columbia law making it a crime to carry an unregistered handgun and prohibiting the registration of handguns, but that authorizes the police chief to issue one-year licenses, and requires residents to keep lawfully owned handguns unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device, violates the Second Amendment. Justice John Stevens, dissenting in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), asserted that neither the text of the Second Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Moreover, there is no indication that the Framers intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the constitution.
Issue: Should It Be Lawful for the Police to Conduct JailHouse Strip Searches of Persons Arrested for Minor Offenses?
YES: Anthony M. Kennedy, from Majority Opinion, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, U.S. Supreme Court, 2012
NO: Stephen Breyer, from Dissenting Opinion, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholder of County of Burlington, U.S. Supreme Court 2012
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asserts that police officers and correctional officials must be permitted to develop reasonable search policies to detect and deter the possession of contraband within their facilities. Moreover, exempting people arrested for minor offenses from such searches may put the police at greater risk and result in more contraband being brought into jails. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, in contrast, believes that because strip searches involve close observation of the private areas of the body, they constitute a serious invasion of personal privacy and may not be justified in cases involving minor offenses.
Issue: Does an Imprisoned Individual Have a Constitutional Right to Access the State’s Evidence for DNA Testing?
YES: John Paul Stevens, from Dissenting Opinion, District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
NO: John Roberts, from Majority Opinion, District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
Justice John Stevens, in a dissenting opinion in District Attorney’s Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne (2009), contends that a fundamental responsibility to ensure that “justice” has been served requires a state to provide a defendant with post-conviction access to DNA evidence. Because it could conclusively establish whether an accused had committed the crime in the first place, this right should be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority opinion in District Attorney’s Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne (2009), held that the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause provides no right to post conviction access to DNA evidence because it would take the development of rules and procedures in criminal cases out of the hands of state legislatures and courts.
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