CrimeA crime is defined as “an act committed in violation of a law forbiddingit and for which a variety of punishments may beimposed.” Crimes areclassified into two basic groups; “mala in se” which are crimes that are evil inthemselves, and “mala prohibitita” which are crimes that are only crimes becausesociety at the time deems them wrong.In these days crime is more easy perceived by society. Surveys ofpublic opinion in the United States show that more and more people believe thatcrime is increasing. People feel less safe in their environment and have thustaken measures to protect themselves.
But is this view accurate? Most of the crime rates from 1973 to 1992have risen greatly. In 1973 there was a murder every 27 minutes. Now there is amurder every 22 minutes. The astounding fact is in 1973 there was a violentcrime every 6 minutes but now it has increased to a murder every 16 seconds.Crime per thousand from between 1983 and 1992 rose 9.
4 percent but from 1991 to1992 it went down 4 percent. In recent years crime has been decreasing.Property crime, murder, robbery, and burglary have all decreased at least threepercent in recent years but that is not much.
There is one exception; rapewhich has gone up 3 percent. Violent crime has risen 40.9 since 1983 while inrecent years it has only gone down a tenth of a percent. This may be one of thereasons people feel less safe.
People aren’t afraid of larceny or propertycrimes. They are afraid of violent crimes, which is why is recent years theyfeel insecure.Many people believe the problem is in the trial system itself. Notenough people are convicted. In our trial system where you are innocent untilproven guilty and to be proved guilty it must be done beyond reasonable doubt orpreponderance of evidence in civil cases.
After it has finally been very wellproven a judge or jury must unanimously decide the criminal is innocent orguilty or it is declared a hung jury. It also is too easy to get a shortersentence on a plea bargain. For instance a person accused of armed robbery, anoffence that on average a person would get thirty years for; the criminal willoften plead guilty to a lesser offence such as carrying a concealed weapon.Carrying a concealed weapon would often give a six year sentence but thecriminal often gets off in half that time. So you see how the sentencing justwent from thirty years to three years.Another possible cause is our prison system.
Prisons breed crimethemselves. If a burglar is sent to prison he must contend with the violenceinside it by being rough himself. This means a burglar who enters a prison mayemerge a murderer. Prisons are often used to rehabilitate and made morepleasant as so to not create the cultures that develop more criminals in them.This often makes prison seem not so bad to criminals. That solution is worsethen the problem.
Is the United States crime problem as bad as people think it is? Thecrime rate in the United States isn’t even in the top fifteen. The problem inthe United States is the rise in violent crime. The United States ranks thirdin the world in robbery and violent theft.
There is a rise in juvenile crimetoo. A possible reason for this is the breakdown of the family. In familieswhere both parents work the kids are left alone or in a day care.
The parentsare around less for support. This makes it that much easier for the kids tobecome delinquents.There are many possible ways to fix the United States crime problem andthe rise in violent crime. One solution is to use the death sentence. One lessmurder alive is one less murderer on the streets. Another answer is to prohibithandguns. The second amendment may give the right to bear arms but it isn’tclear whether this right should be granted to individual citizens or an officialstate militia.
The Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue. Withouthandguns nobody would be afraid to be held up. It would be much safer to go outat night. When crime makes people live their lives differently and possibly infear something must be done.