sentencing and the depravity standard
Some people use others to commit their crimes, all the while pretending to be law-abiding citizens or untouchable by law enforcement. We see them at all levels of societies: political leaders like Adolph Hitler, who order ethnic cleansing, and those like Charles Manson, who use others to perform nefarious deeds for them. Should these persons be held to a different standard than those who willingly carried out the crimes? Should crimes against women and/or children be considered more serious than crimes against men? The last crime to be added to the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) by the Department of Justice was arson. Are there other crimes that you would add to the UCR? Why?
In this Discussion, you are asked to examine criminal behavior in terms of its depravity. Which crimes appear to be the most serious? Is shooting someone less depraved than stabbing and beating a person to death? Why? Do you believe that punishments should fit the crimes committed? Consider the focus of the Depravity Standard and be prepared to discuss your thoughts on the seriousness of crimes.
- Navigate to the website for the depravity scale listed in the Learning Resources.
- Examine the information given on the “About the Research” page concerning the Depravity Standard.
- Read through the Learning Resource about classifying crimes by severity.
- Participate in the study by logging in (it is a free site).
- Complete the survey regarding the seriousness of different crimes.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on “Submit,” you cannot delete or edit your own posts. You also cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!
Post by Day 3 a response to the following:
- In what ways have the types of crimes evolved?
- Should sentencing of offenders be based on the relative depravity of their crime?
- What are potential problems in collecting and/or incorporating such findings in sentencing laws?