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NCJ Number: 64449 Find in a Library
Title: SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES (FROM CUADERNOS PANAMENOS DE CRIMINOLOGIA, N 7, 1978)
Author(s): L ANIYAR
Corporate Author: Universidad de Panama
Instituto de Criminologia
Panama
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Universidad de Panama
Panama City, Panama
Format: Document
Language: Spanish
Country: Panama
Annotation: THE VIRTUAL IMMUNITY ENJOYED BY WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS IS EXPLAINED AS RELATED TO THE VAGUENESS OF CRIMINAL CODE DEFINITIONS, ALTHOUGH THESE CRIMINALS CLEARLY MEET THE CRITERIOR OF BEING HARMFUL TO SOCIETY.
Abstract: WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES, ALREADY RECOGNIZED AND DESCRIBED BY CRIMINOLOGISTS AS ACTS COMMITTED BY PERSONS OF HIGH SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS IN THE COURSE OF THEIR OFFICIAL OR PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, ARE NOT YET CLEARLY DEFINED OR PROSCRIBED BY CRIMINAL CODES. DESPITE THE HIGH ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COSTS OF THESE ACTS TO SOCIETY, THEY GO UNDETECTED AND UNPUNISHED AND THOSE WHO COMMIT THEM ARE NOT EVEN ANSWERABLE TO CIVIL OR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. ALTHOUGH OFTEN VIEWED BY CRIMINOLOGISTS AS BUSINESS OR ECONOMIC CRIMES, THEY STEM FROM THE ABUSE OF POWER BY PERSONS IN AUTHORITY AND ARE, THEREFORE, POLITICAL CRIMES FIRST AND ECONOMIC CRIMES IN A DERIVATIVE SENSE. A DEFINITION OF WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES WHICH IS EQUALLY VALID IS CAPITALIST AND SOCIALIST SOCIETIES IS 'SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY CRIMES,' BECAUSE THEIR PERPETRATORS ENJOY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMITTING THEM ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR HIGH POSITION AND TYPE OF OCCUPATION. SOCIAL-CLASS DIFFERENCES ARE ALSO AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN WHITE-COLLAR CRIMES, THE VICTIMS OF WHICH ARE USUALLY MEMBERS OF A LOWER SOCIAL CLASS AND SUBSTANTIALLY POWERLESS. ONE OF THE MOST TYPICAL FEATURES IS THE UNACCOUNTABILITY OF THE REAL CRIMINALS AT THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHICAL LADDER, AND THE SCAPEGOATING OF LOW- AND MID-ECHELON OFFICIALS FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR BOSSES. TRADITIONAL CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORIES ON THE CAUSES OF CRIME ARE USELESS IN ANALYZING WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS, WHOSE PERSONALITIES DO NOT POSSESS ANY OF THE RECOGNIZABLE CRIMINALITY TRAITS. CRIMINOLOGISTS COMPARE WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS, HOWEVER, WITH PROFESSIONAL THIEVES, WITH WHOM THEY SHARE HIGH RECIDIVISM, MULTIPLICITY OF SUBTERRANEAN RAMIFICATIONS OF THEIR OPERATIONS, A CYNICAL DISREGARD FOR LAW AND AUTHORITY, A MINIMAL RISK OF LOSING STATUS AMONG THEIR PEERS BECAUSE OF THEIR ACTIONS, AND EVEN THE USE OF 'CODED' COMMUNICATIONS WITH ONE ANOTHER. WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS ARE ALSO HIGHLY ORGANIZED AND OPERATE WITH A DEGREE OF SOPHISTICATION WHICH MAKES THEIR EXPOSURE AND THE GATHERING OF EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, A PROBLEM COMPOUNDED BY THE VAGUENESS OF PERTINENT CRIMINAL LAWS, WHICH CAN BE MANIPULATED AND TWISTED IN THEIR FAVOR NO MATTER HOW INTRINSICALLY WRONG ('MALA PER SE'), AND SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY HARMFUL TO THE COMMUNITY THEIR CRIMES MAY BE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. --IN SPANISH. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Business crime costs; Crime costs; Criminal codes; Criminal responsibility; Organized crime; Social classes; White collar crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64449

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