6 1 discussion the social contract and crime

*****Select a crime and discuss the following questions:

  • How does this crime violate the social contract?
  • Has the definition of this crime changed over time?
  • How have changes in society influenced how this crime is defined?
  • How have these changes influenced legal outcomes?
  • Has the punishment of this crime changed over time?
  • How do you think the ethical responsibilities of law enforcement professionals have changed related to this crime?

Textbook: Criminal Law Today, pp. 323–330
This reading describes personal crimes, such as domestic assault, as well as crimes that affect the public order, including indecency, alcohol and drug crimes, and disorderly conduct.

PDF: Improving American Police Ethics Training: Focusing on Social Contract Theory and Constitutional Principles
This article discusses the historical basis of ethics training for police officers in the United States and examines opportunities for improvement in this training, with a renewed focus on codes, standards, and personal ethics and values.

Website: The Minnesota Statewide Racial Profiling Study
This website discusses the results of a racial profiling study conducted of 65 law enforcement departments in Minnesota.

Textbook: Criminal Law Today, (Optional Readings)
In addition to the required textbook readings assigned in this module, there is some optional material you may choose to read: pp. 330–361 and Chapters 7, 8, and 11. These sections examine specific crimes affecting the public order and discuss the laws associated with those crimes. Additionally, various infractions, misdemeanours, and felonies are explored. Capital crimes, including murder and manslaughter, are also discussed.

*****Respond to the discussion thread of at least two peers, reflecting on what you think contributed to the evolution of the punishment for the crime they chose.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

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Peer post 1

Social contract theory: “holds that the purpose of government is to better protect the rights that people already naturally possess: those of life, liberty and property” (Moll, 2016).

The talking/texting and driving has been a growing issue among citizens and a leading cause of death. “The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving” (Snyder, 2002). The crime does violate the contract, police are supposed to protect life. Driving behind or next to law enforcement I constantly see them on their phone. Through my day I on average see at least 5 people distracted on their phone.

Has the definition of this crime changed over time?

The cell phone ability has expanded and now is more of a distraction. It used to only be an issue with individuals talking on their phone. Now cell phones are miniature computers

How have changes in society influenced how this crime is defined?

Society has impacted the crime in the aspect it’s become a norm to always have a cell phone in a person’s hand. However, it has influenced negative behaviors that leads to car accidents and death.

How have these changes influenced legal outcomes?

The changes have led to legal consequences including ticketing or jail time. A person can be stopped and cited without further violations taking place. The law enforcement have conducted routine safety procedures like seat belt stops for cell phone uses now.

Has the punishment of this crime changed over time?

The punishment has not changed it’s still a ticket if found utilizing you cell phone while driving. However, if an accident occurs it could lead to a higher consequence.

How do you think the ethical responsibilities of law enforcement professionals have changed related to this crime?

The ethical responsibility has expanded for law enforcement in this area because the use and the accidents have grown over time. The law enforcement has to handle certain things while driving but again it’s just as much of a distraction for them. They should lead by example a s much as possible. The use of a cell phone shouldn’t be taken lightly we see fatalities happen almost daily because of the distraction.

References:

Moll, M. M. (2006). Improving American Police Ethics Training: Focusing on Social Contract Theory and Constitutional Principles. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from http://forumonpublicpolicy.com/archivesum07/moll.p…

Snyder, E. (2002). Texting and Driving Accident Statistics – Distracted Driving. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-…

Peer post 2

The crime I chose was failure to wear a seatbelt because it is a law that has changed over time. It violates the social contract because citizens agree to obey the laws in exchange for the protection. According to “Safer Roads”, (2017), “In 1983, front seat belt wearing regulations for drivers and passengers (both adult and children) came into force. In 1989, wearing rear seat belts became compulsory for children under 14. In 1991, when it became compulsory for adults to wear seat belts in the back of a car, there was an immediate increase from 10 per cent to 40 per cent in observed rear seat belt wearing.

For your own and others’ safety, the law requires you to use a seat belt in all motor vehicles if one is fitted and for children up to 135cms in height to use a child restraint.” (Seat Belts and the Law)

I remember when I was growing up, long, long ago, it was not a requirement to wear a seatbelt and kids generally climbed all over the car while it was driving. I can remember one car accident in particular when I was a child that involved a van full of kids. None of them survived as they were all thrown from the vehicle. I think that enforcement of this law makes sense for law enforcement since they will be the ones to clean up if you have a wreck and no officer wants to see people die unnecessarily. The law now allows officers to cite you for not wearing a seatbelt which could lead to fines, points off your license, or another penalty.

REF:

Safer Roads(2017). Retrieved from http://www.saferroads.org/advice/drivers/seatbelts/

 

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