Crime in Its Relations to Social Progress

Crime in Its Relations to Social Progress

Read FREE!

Crime in Its Relations to Social Progress

Crime in Its Relations to Social Progress

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Our theories of crime and our conception of the criminal have undergone profound modification since our notions of mankind were transformed by the researches of Mr. Darwin. Crime is still thought of by the uneducated as merely a black kind of wickedness, and by lawyers as merely a punishable act. But scientific students of mind and of society have learned that wicked and punishable acts are correlated with anthropological and physiological facts, and with social and historical conditions, that are deserving of investigation. The criminal is still thought of by a majority of law-abiding persons as an "evil-doer," who sins deliberately, because he "likes to"; who deserves the vengeance of man in this present world and the wrath of God in a world to come. But to the scientifically trained mind the criminal is a character who should be examined with painstaking care and by precise methods, to determine how far he is responsible. He may be an atavistic variant from normal mankind, and devoid of moral sense, a dangerous creature, to be restrained as a wild beast might be, but not to be punished by rational beings. He may be a weak or passionate person, not evil in disposition but liable to go wrong under stress of temptation or excitement. Or, finally, he may be nothing more nor less than a "professional" -- a man who has gone into crime as a profitable business, exactly as he might have gone into politics or promoting. To those who have become familiar with these distinctions, it seems quite clear that professional . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.