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NCJ Number: 66448 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME, PUNISHMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY
Journal: VILLANOVA LAW REVIEW  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:(MAY 1979)  Pages:690-705
Author(s): T B HOGAN
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPRINT OF A LECTURE GIVEN IN 1979 TRACES THE HISTORY OF CRIME, PUNISHMENT, AND RESPONSIBILITY AND DRAWS CONCLUSIONS FOR MODERN TIMES.
Abstract: PRIMITIVE LEGAL SYSTEMS MAINTAINED STRICT LIABILITY FOR CRIME IN THAT IF INDIVIDUALS CAUSED HARM, THEY WERE HELD ACCOUNTABLE REGARDLESS OF THEIR INTENTIONS. THE DEVELOPMENT OF 'MENS REA' IN THE EARLY 1800'S MATCHED PUNISHMENT TO INTENT OF HARM AND WAS AN EARLY THEORY OF ACCOUNTABILITY. BUT IN THE MID 1800'S, COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ENGLAND INTRODUCED A DOCTRINE OF STRICT LIABILITY WHICH IMPOSED CRIMINAL LIABILITY EVEN IF ALL REASONABLE STEPS TO CONFORM TO LAW WERE TAKEN. RECENTLY, THE TREND IS TO LIABILITY BASED ON NEGLIGENCE. HOWEVER, INTRODUCING A CRIME AS AN OFFENSE OF NEGLIGENCE DOES NOT REMOVE THE PRESENCE OF THE OFFENSE. MUCH OF THE CONDUCT THAT IS PRESENTLY CRIMINAL, SUCH AS GAMBLING, PROSTITUTION, AND DRUG ABUSE, CANNOT BE ABOLISHED BY CRIMINAL LAW. MOREOVER, PRIORITIES MUST BE SET REGARDING THE USE OF POLICE POWER. CRIME MUST BE RECOGNIZED AS A PROBLEM OF THE COMMUNITY, NOT THE POLICE. BECAUSE IMPRISONMENT HAS FAILED AS A MEANS OF REFORMING OFFENDERS AND OF DETERRING OTHERS, STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ELIMINATE IMPRISONMENT FOR OFFENSES DIRECTED ONLY AGAINST PROPERTY, AND PRISON SENTENCES SHOULD BE SHORTER. EFFORTS MUST BE TAKEN TO ASSURE REHABILITATION, SUCH AS THE REMOVAL OF A CRIMINAL RECORD AND THE RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS AND OTHER PRIVILEGES. CONCERN FOR THE VICTIM SHOULD BE EXPRESSED IN MONETARY COMPENSATION SCHEMES. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (TAG)
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Criminal responsibility; Law reform; Legal doctrines; Legal liability; Negligence; Punishment
Note: THIS ARTICLE WAS PREPARED FROM THE THIRD DONALD A GIANNELLA MEMORIAL LECTURE OF THE VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, APRIL 5, 1979
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66448

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