This Eighth Edition of TAKING SIDES: CLASHING VIEWS IN CRIME AND CRIMINOLOGY presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.
Thomas J. Hickey is the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a Professor of Government at the State University of New York (SUNY Cobleskill). He received his bachelor’s degree from Providence College, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Sam Houston State University, and a law degree from the University of Oregon, School of Law. His areas of expertise include criminology and law and he is the author of two books, Criminal Procedure (McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2001, 1998) and Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Criminal Justice (McGraw-Hill, 2007) as well as many journal articles. He is a licensed attorney as well who specializes in the areas of labor law and tort litigation.
Unit 1 Definitions and Explanations of CrimeIssue 1. Is Crime Beneficial to Society?
YES:Emile Durkheim, from Rules of Sociological Method (The Free Press, 1938)
NO:Daniel Patrick Moynihan, from "Defining Deviancy Down," The American Scholar (Winter 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 2. Is Criminal Behavior Determined Biologically?
YES:Adriane Raine, from "The Biological Basis of Crime," in James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia, eds., Crime: Public Policies for Crime Control (ICS Press, 2002)
NO:Jeffrey H. Reiman, from The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice (Allyn & Bacon, 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 3. Does IQ Contribute Significantly to Crime?
YES:Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, from The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (Free Press, 1994)
NO:Francis T. Cullen, Paul Gendreau, G. Roger Varjoura, and John Paul Wright, from "Crime and the Bell Curve: Lessons from Intelligent Criminology," Crime & Delinquency (October 1997)
The late psychologist and criminologist Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, argue that a significant cause of crime is low IQ. Criminologists Francis T. Cullen et al. assert that Herrnstein and Murray ignore the many significant environmental factors related to both crime and intelligence.
Unit 2 Justice Issues and Contemporary Public PolicyIssue 4. 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 (Spring 2004)
NO:Elisa Massimino, from "Leading by Example? U.S. Interrogation of Prisoners in the War on Terror," Criminal Justice Ethics (Winter 2004)
Attorney Andrew A. 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 5. Is Racial Profiling an Acceptable Law Enforcement Strategy?
YES:Jared Taylor and Glayde Whitney, from "Racial Profiling: Is There an Empirical Basis?" Mankind Quarterly (Spring 2002)
NO:Michael J. Lynch, from "Misleading 'Evidence' and the Misguided Attempt to Generate Racial Profiles of Criminals," Mankind Quarterly (Spring 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 J. 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 6. Should Serious Sex Offenders Be Castrated?
YES:Lawrence Wright, from "The Case for Castration," Texas Monthly (May 1992)
NO:Kari A. Vanderzyl, from "Castration as an Alternative to Incarceration: An Impotent Approach to the Punishment of Sex Offenders," The Northern Illinois University Law Review (Fall 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 7. Should Juvenile Courts Be Abolished?
YES:Barry C. Feld, from Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court (Oxford University Press, 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 (July 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 8. Are the Dangers of Internet Child Pornography Exaggerated?
YES:Julia Wilkins, from “Protecting Our Children from Internet Smut: Moral Duty or Moral Panic?", The Humanist (September/October 1997)
NO:Bob Trebilcock, from "Child Molesters on the Internet," Redbook (April 1997)
Writer Julia Wilkins argues that claims of Internet dangers are simply an example of "moral panic" causing otherwise sensible people to overreact. Magazine writer Bob Trebilcock contends that the Internet is a real danger to children because it provides easy access to pornography and encourages the creation and dissemination of child pornography.
Unit 3 Prison Programs and AlternativesIssue 9. Is it Ethical to Segregate HIV-Positive Inmates?
YES:Penny A. Robinette, from "Is the Segregation of HIV-Positive Inmates Ethical? Yes," The Prison Journal (March 1999)
NO:Billy Long, from "Is the Segregation of HIV-Positive Inmates Ethical? No," The Prison Journal (March 1999)
Penny A. Robinette, an administrator at Presbyterian Child Welfare Services in Richmond, Kentucky, contends that mandatory testing and segregation of HIV-positive inmates is justified. Assistant professor of criminal justice Billy Long argues that mandatory testing and segregation of inmates will have more negative than positive consequences.
Issue 10. Are Supermax (Control Unit) Prisons an Appropriate Way to Punish Hardened Criminals?
YES:Gregory L. Hershberger, from "To the Max," Corrections Today (February 1998)
NO:Rodney J. Henningsen, W. Wesley, and Terry Wells, from "Supermax Prisons: Panacea or Desperation?" Corrections Management Quarterly (Spring 1999)
Federal Bureau of Prisons regional director Gregory L. Hershberger contends that the challenges posed by hardened prison inmates support confining dangerous offenders in a supermax prison facility. Professors Rodney J. Henningsen, W. Wesley Johnson, and Terry Wells argue that supermax prisons are symbolic of the desperation Americans face in trying to reduce crime using traditional crime control methods.
Issue 11. Should Serial Killers and Violent Sexual Predators Be Quarantined for Life?
YES:Frank M. Ochberg, from "Quarantine Them Beyond Their Jail Terms," The Washington Post (December 5, 1999)
NO:Howard Zonana, from "We're Doctors—Not Judges, Juries or Jailers," The Washington Post (December 5, 1999)
Professor of psychiatry Frank M. Ochberg argues that some violent offenders are incurable and should be confined for life to mental hospitals. Professor of psychiatry and law Howard Zonana contends that doctors have no business becoming jailers for those who are perceived as dangerous by legal authorities.
Issue 12. 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?", Privatization Correctional Institute (1996)
NO:Jeff Sinden, from "The Problem of Prison Privatization: The U.S. Experience," in Andrew Cole, Allison Campbell, and Rodney Newfeld, eds., Capitalist Punishment: Prison Privatization & Human Rights (Clarity Press, 2003)
Wayne H. Calabrese, vice president of the Wackenhut Corportation, argues that the privatization of U.S. prisons saves money and provides quality services. Jeff Sinden, managing editor of Human Rights Tribune, argues 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 institutes.
Unit 4 Criminal Justice Research, Evaluation, and Policy AnalysisIssue 13. 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 Magazine (February 5, 1995)
NO:Ernest van den Haag, from "The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense," Harvard Law Review (May 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.
Issue 14. Will 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 (Spring 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 (Spring 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 three to five. 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 15. Should the Police Enforce Zero-Tolerance Laws?
YES:George L. Kelling and William J. Bratton, from "Declining Crime Rates: Insiders' Views of the New York City Story," Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology (Summer 1998)
NO:Judith A. Greene, from "Zero Tolerance: A Case Study of Police Policies and Practices in New York City," Crime & Delinquency (April 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.
Unit 5 Future Trends in Criminology and Criminal JusticeIssue 16. Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
YES:Ethan A. Nadelmann, from "An End to Marijuana Prohibition—The Drive to Legalize Picks Up," National Review (July 12, 2004)
NO:John P. Walters, from "No Surrender," National Review (September 2004)
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. John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, argues that marijuana does the most social harm of any illegal drug. Moreover, Walters asserts that the ultimate goal of those who advocate marijuana legalization is tolerated addiction.
Issue 17. Do Three Strikes Sentencing Laws and Other "Get Tough" Approaches Really Work?
YES:Eugene H. Methvin, from "Mugged by Reality," Policy Review (July/August 1997)
NO:David Shichor, from "Three Strikes as a Public Policy: The Convergence of the New Penology and the McDonaldization of Punishment," Crime & Delinquency (September 1997)
Eugene H. 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 18. Should Juries Be Able to Disregard the Law and Free "Guilty" Persons in Racially Charged Cases?
YES:Paul Butler, from “Racially Based Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Criminal Justice System,” Yale Law Journal (December 1995)
NO:Randall Kennedy, from "After the Cheers," The New Republic (October 23, 1995)
Paul Butler, an associate professor at the George Washington University Law School, argues that black jurors should acquit black defendants of certain crimes to make up for inequities in the criminal justice system. Randall Kennedy, a professor at the Harvard Law School, finds it tragic that black jurors would pronounce a murderer "not guilty" just to send a message to white people.
Issue 19. Should Behavior Modification Techniques Be Used to Brainwash Criminals?
YES:James V. McConnell, from "Criminals Can Be Brainwashed—Now," Psychology Today (April 1970)
NO:Jessica Mitford, from "The Torture Cure: In Some American Prisons It Is Already 1984," Harper’s Magazine (1973)
The late University of Michigan psychologist James V. McConnell argues that society has the technology to brainwash criminals and turn them into productive citizens. Celebrated author the late Jessica Mitford contends, however, that sensory deprivation and other forms of behavior modification are immoral and constitute the legally sanctioned use of torture.