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NCJ Number: 64473 Find in a Library
Title: PERSPECTIVES ON THE SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMES ACCORDING TO SOCIOECONOMIC, SEX AND AGE CHARACTERISTICS
Journal: CENIPEC  Issue:3  Dated:(1978)  Pages:9-31
Author(s): L G GABALDON
Corporate Author: Universidad de Los Andes
Centro de Investigaciones Penales Y Criminologicas
Facultad de Derecho
Venezuela
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Universidad de Los Andes
Merida, Venezuela
Format: Article
Language: Spanish
Country: Venezuela
Annotation: THE EXTENT TO WHICH EXISTING CRIMINAL CODES REFLECT COMMUNITY VALUES AND ATTITUDES CAN BE MEASURED BY CITIZENS' REACTIONS TO THE PENALTIES PRESCRIBED FOR TYPES OF BEHAVIOR FORMALLY DEFINED BY THE LAW AS CRIMES.
Abstract: VENEZUELAN CRIMINOLOGISTS SURVEYED THE POPULATION OF THE CITY AND SUBURBS OF MERIDA TO EVALUATE THE EXTENT TO WHICH EXISTING CRIMINAL CODES REFLECT PREVAILING COMMUNITY VALUES. THE ANONYMOUS MAIL QUESTIONNAIRE POLLED A CROSS-SECTION ON THEIR AGREEMENT OR DISAGREEMENT WITH THE VARYING DEGREE OF SEVERITY OF THE PENALTIES PROSCRIBED FOR VARIOUS CRIMES. THIS ATTEMPT WAS ADMITTEDLY LIMITED IN SCOPE, SO THAT ITS RESULTS COULD ONLY BE TERMED EXPLORATORY AND TENTATIVE. THE FINDINGS WERE CLASSIFIED AND TABULATED ACCORDING TO SUCH DESCRIPTIVE VARIABLES AS SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, SEX, AND AGE OF THE INDIVIDUALS SURVEYED WITH REGARD TO A NUMBER OF CRIMES PROSCRIBED BY THE VENEZUELAN CRIMINAL CODE, ALL MADE PUNISHABLE BY DETENTION. THE CRIMES WERE SPECULATION AND CORRUPTION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS, PREJURY AND THE TAKING OF BRIBES BY LAWYERS, ADULTERATION OF FOODSTUFFS AND DRUG TRAFFICKING, SIMPLE SEDUCTION AND MALE AND FEMALE ADULTERY, MURDER IN THE COURSE OF AN ARMED ROBBERY, MANSLAUGHTER, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, ABORTION, BURGLARY, ARMED ROBBERY, EXTORTION, AND BLACKMAIL. EACH TYPE OF CRIME WAS SET IN THE CONTEXT OF HYPOTHETICAL SITUATIONS UNRELATED TO THE PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF THOSE BEING SURVEYED, TO ENSURE OBJECTIVE RESPONSES. CERTAIN WORKING HYPOTHESES HAD BEEN FORMULATED REGARDING THE LIKELIHOOD OF COMMITTING THE CRIMES IN QUESTION, VULNERABILITY TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION IF GUILTY, AND RISK OF BEING THE VICTIM OF THE CRIMES UNDER DISCUSSION FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESPONDENTS, ACCORDING TO THEIR SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, AGE, AND SEX. HOWEVER, SOME OF THE FINDINGS WERE SUPRISING, INSOFAR AS THEY REFLECTED ONLY MINOR DIFFERENCES IN THE ATTITUDES AND REACTIONS OF ALL GROUPS. FOR EXAMPLE, EXTORTION, PERJURY, AND BLACKMAIL WERE RATED EQUALLY BY MEMBERS OF THE HIGHER AND LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC STRATA, ALTHOUGH MURDER IN THE COURSE OF A ROBBERY WAS, AS EXPECTED, JUDGED MORE SEVERLY BY MEMBERS OF THE UPPER CLASSES. WOMEN ASSIGNED TO MALE ADULTERY (RATED DIFFERENTLY FROM FEMALE ADULTERY BY THE VENEZUELAN CRIMINAL CODE) A HIGHER DEGREE OF SERIOUSNESS THAN ITS LEGAL RATING. TABULAR DATA, A GLOSSARY OF LEGAL CRIME DEFINITIONS, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE APPENDED. --IN SPANISH. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Crime seriousness measures; Criminal codes; Offense classification; Penalty severity rating; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Surveys; Venezuela
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64473

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