Law, Justice, and Society: A Sociole gal Introduction Chapter 10 The Limits of Social Control: Policing Vice
Policing Vice what is a vice crime? any consensual act that offends the moral standards of the community that has defined the act as worthy of condemnation and legal control also referred to as victimless crime, public order offense, nuisance offense, or consensual offense
Policing ViceVice Crime and the Harm Principle vice crimes are consensual--there is participation because of reward or pleasure although all vice offenses cause some harm there is much debate regarding decriminalization and enforcement of vice crimes
Policing ViceHomosexuality and Sodomy sodomy: anal sex between two men or a man and a woman 1869 marked the beginning of the focus on the actors (homosexuals seen as a distinct group of individuals) rather than the act (sodomy) homosexuals experienced label of diseased, were penalized and subjected to shock treatment and castration today homosexuality is considered a variant of human sexuality and is biological in 2003 eighteen states still had laws forbidding consensual sodomy
Policing ViceProstitution and Commercialized Vice prostitution: the provision of sexual services in exchange for money or other tangible reward earliest writings regarding prostitution are contained in Hammurabi’s Code; prostitution has been considered throughout American history as a “necessary evil”should prostitution be decriminalized/legalized? decriminalization: the removal of laws against prostitution without imposing regulatory controls on it legalization: prostitution becomes a legitimate occupation, and the state can regulate and tax
Policing VicePornography and Obscenity pornography: the depiction of sexual behavior in pictures, writing, film, or other material intended to cause sexual arousal obscenity: the legal term for any subcategory of pornography that is not constitutionally protected, such as child pornography Hicklin test: the guiding common law principle: “The law can ban anything that depraves and corrupts those whose minds are open to such immoral influences.” Miller test: reaffirmed that obscenity is not protected speech. To be obscene, the material must (1) appeal to interests of average person, (2) describe sexual activity in offensive way, (3) lack serious literary, artistic, scientific, or political value.
Policing ViceAbortion abortion: the intentional termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of an embryo/fetus from the uterus resulting in its death attitudes toward abortion have fluctuated across the centuries. The first laws regarding abortion were found in the Code of Hammurabi. Roe v. Wade: U.S. Supreme Court gave women the right to unlimited access to abortion in the first trimester, allowed states to regulate abortion in second trimester, and prohibited it in the third trimester unless health was at risk Doe v. Bolton: Supreme Court ruled that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability only if it is necessary to protect her health
Policing ViceAbortion in 1995 56 percent of Americans considered themselves pro-choice, while 33 percent considered themselves pro-life by 2009 more Americans considered themselves pro-life (47 percent) than pro- choice (46 percent)
Policing ViceAlcohol and Illicit Drugs alcohol is most directly linked to crime; at least 70 percent of all American prison inmates and 60 percent of British inmates are alcohol and/or drug addicted fetal alcohol syndrome: neurological disorder in infants resulting from mothers drinking while pregnant, resulting in identifiable physical abnormalities and behavioral symptoms (linked with high levels of antisocial behavior and criminal offending) prevalence of 1 percent of all live births in the United States
Policing ViceAlcohol Prohibition: Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the production, sale, transportation, or importation of alcoholic beverages in the United States (also known as Volstead Act) Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment
Policing ViceIllicit Drugs only vice addressed in the chapter that is not currently legal or tolerated many addictive substances were used in drinks or medicines, such as Coca-Cola and Cocaine Toothache Drops attitudes changed as doctors came to understand the addictive powers of such substances
Policing ViceIllicit Drugs (cont.) Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914: addict was no longer viewed as a middle-class victim but rather as a criminal deviant using drugs for pleasure. Reduced the number of addicts but increased black market operations and ultimately more addicts.
Policing ViceIllicit Drugs (cont.) intimately related to criminal activity (75 percent of all male and female arrestees test positive for at least one drug) the link between drugs and crime is largely driven by their illegality, not by their pharmacological effects there have been no Supreme Court cases challenging the states’ right to criminalize illicit drugs, which indicates an overall agreement that the manufacture and sale of such substances are morally wrong and cause harm harm-reduction programs aim to minimize harm caused by drug use through efforts such as syringe exchange programs, methadone treatment, and decriminalization. United States rejects harm- reduction programs