The Mythology Of Crime And Criminal Justice Essay

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The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice

Crime is defined as: commission of an act or act of omission that violates the law and is punishable by the state. Crimes are considered injurious to society and the community. As defined by law, a crime includes both the act, or actus rea, and the intent to commit the act, or mens rea.
Criminal intent involves an intellectual apprehension of factual elements of the act or acts commanded or enjoined by the law. It is usually inferred from the apparently voluntary commission of an overt act. Criminal liability is relieved in the case of insanity. Legal minors are also relieved of criminal liability, as are persons subjected to coercion or duress to such a degree as to render the
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The book The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice by
Kappeler, Blumberg, and Potter breaks down the essentials and gives the reader ideas on what exactly crime is, how it is represented by the media, and how
Americans respond to it. In Chapter 2, the authors discuss crime waves and their effects on society.

In Chapter 2, the authors point out the main contributing factor to crime in the United States--poverty. According to the text, the main contributor to crime in the United States is a young, black male living in an urban environment. The text also notes that blacks commit crimes at three times the rate of their percentage in the national population.

The official crime rate in the United States is measured by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports. However, there is strong criticism for the FBI's measurement of crime using the UCR. For example, the
FBI does not require that any person be arrested for crimes that are reported.
All that is required is for someone to believe that a crime actually took place.
One can see where this could create misleading statistics. For example, if someone were to lose a checkbook at a local mall, they could report that a pickpocket had stolen the checkbook from them. Under the FBI's UCR, this would be labeled as a crime, even though the checkbook was misplaced and was in fact not stolen.

Another source of crime information is found in the
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