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NCJ Number: 68044 Find in a Library
Title: NOTES ON POLITICAL-JURIDICAL ASPECTS FOR A RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY IN LATIN AMERICA (FROM CAPITULO CRIMINOLOGICO 5, P 267, 269-283, 1977)
Author(s): T SANTOS; E G MENDEZ
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: Spanish
Country: Venezuela
Annotation: THE APPLICATION OF THE LEGAL DOCTRINES OF RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY IS RECOMMENDED AS AN ADMITTEDLY UTOPIAN SOLUTION FOR ALL THE CURRENT PROBLEMS OF THE LOCAL JUDICIAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND CODES OF CRIMINAL LAW.
Abstract: THE ROLE OF THE LAW IS TWO-FOLD: (1) IT MUST EFFICIENTLY LEGITIMIZE THE UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE SOCIAL PRODUCT, AND (2) IT MUST LEGITIMIZE ITS OWN EXISTENCE AS AN ENTITY WITH THE BUILTIN POWER TO PRESERVE THE SYSTEM OF DOMINATION WHICH CREATED IT. THE SPECIAL SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN MOST LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES ARE CHARACTERIZED, ABOVE ALL, BY THE HETEROGENEITY OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION AND THEIR INEVITABLE CORRELATE, SOCIAL HETEROGENEITY. THE LATIN AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS INCAPABLE OF MEDIATING THE CONFLICTS AMONG DIFFERENT SOCIAL GROUPS AND, THEREFORE, IS ALSO INCAPABLE OF PROMOTING SOCIAL INTEGRATION. THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN LATIN AMERICA SHOULD BE EXAMINED FROM THE VIEWPOINTS OF TECHNIQUES AND JUDICIAL PROCESS; INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION; AND THE CURRENT DECRIMINALIZATION TREND. THE SIMPLICITY OF ANGLO SAXON LAW WHICH, SINCE THE BEGINNINGS OF ITS HISTORY, CONTEMPLATED THREE TYPES OF PENALTY: DEATH, PRISON, FINES, IS CONTRASTED TO LATIN AMERICAN LAW. LATIN AMERICAN LAW CONSISTS OF COMPLEX THEORETICAL AND ABSTRACT FORMULAS WHICH DO NOT COME TO GRIP WITH CONCRETE CASES. INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES HAVE MECHANISMS WHICH ALLOW INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION IN THE LEGAL AND JUDICIAL PROCESS, ESPECIALLY THROUGH PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND POLITICAL PARTIES REPRESENTING SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. THESE BECOME COORDINATORS AND REGULATORS OF SOCIAL CHANGE. THEY CONVEY CERTAIN SIGNALS TO THE GOVERNMENT, TO WHICH THE LATTER RESPONDS WITH REFORMS AND AT LEAST PARTIAL CHANGES IN ITS POLICIES. IN LATIN AMERICA, HOWEVER, PENAL LAW LAGS BEHIND PUBLIC OPINION IN DECRIMINALIZATION TRENDS, IN THE ABSENCE OF LOCAL MECHANISM FOR CONVEYING THE ATTITUDES OF THE PEOPLE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE LATIN AMERICAN INEFFECTIVE AND IRRATIONAL REGIMES DO NOT EVEN RESPOND TO PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS, SUCH AS THE COST OF MAINTAINING REPRESSIVE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS, SEEING THEM ONLY AS EFFECTIVE INSTRUMENTS OF INTIMIDATION AND CONTROL OVER THE MASSES. THE HETEROGENENITY OF LATIN AMERICAN SOCIETY HAS HELPED THE DOMINANT CLASSES CREATE AND PERPETUATE STEREOTYPES OF CRIMINALS, ALL BELONGING TO THE LOWER CLASSES, TO STRENGTHEN THEIR OWN POWERS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ADOPTION OF THE DOCTRINES OF RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY WOULD BE THE ONLY REMEDY (ALTHOUGH, ADMITTEDLY, A UTOPIAN ONE) TO ALL THE EVILS OF THE CURRENT LATIN AMERICAN LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS APPENDED. --IN SPANISH. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Decriminalization; Latin America; Law reform; Legal doctrines; Political influences; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Radical criminology; Social control theory
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68044

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