Crime and Society

Barbara10Broek By Barbara10Broek, 8th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

Discusses the beginning of law, judgement and punishment

Crime and Society

There are few corners of the world that are free from crime. Crime is defined in a dictionary as “an act punishable by law,” so its nature depends on the laws of each society. The laws of a Judeo-Christian society follow the teachings of the Bible, many of the moral values of these societies are derived from the Ten Commandments. An Islamic society adopts the wisdom of the Koran. Among many African and Asian groups, tribal rules of conduct are often decided by a council of elders, who decide what is a crime and how to punish it. Whatever the basis of their legal system, all societies must deal with people who defy the law.

Since all societies suffer crimes they have all developed systems of law by which to judge wrongdoers and assist the law enforcement officers in bringing criminals to justice. Officers try to keep order by preventing people from committing crimes and thereby breaking the law. In many countries laws fall into two categories: common and statuary. Common law is based on previous legal judgments and is often unwritten law. Statuary law is a collection of written laws or statutes enacted by parliaments congresses and legislatures.

Flavious Anicius Sabbaticus Justinianus, called Justinian the Great (483-565), was a Byzantine emperor who laid the foundations of Roman law. Many of the modern worlds legal systems are based on this body of law, called Justinian Code. Draco was a lawmaker in Athens Greece (624-621 B.C.) He ordered execution for all crimes, including laziness. He believed even minor crimes warranted death, and therefore could not find a greater punishment for more serious crimes. The term “Draconian laws” evolved from his harshness.

In most parts of the world the ideas of justice and sentencing go hand and hand. Justice is simply a means by which punishment can be given fairly according to the crime and the circumstances of the convicted criminal. The sentence is the punishment imposed. Most national laws consider crimes of violence against people very serious and the punishments for these offenses are most severe. In a criminal action a governmental unit asks the court to try an alleged offender. In the United States that unit may be the local, state or federal jurisdiction. For example murder and robbery are generally state crimes.


Crime, Law

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