The consensus theory of criminal law contents that society finds its
own way and it is product of social needs and values, it also serves
the interest of society at large. Rules are for the community to
control themselves and to put order. If a crime is committed it is
punished by what the society considers appropriate. The significance
of that crime has to be evaluated by the same society as well as the
punishment itself. The notion of acceptable behavior needs to be set
and established by society itself. If an individual crosses that
acceptable line, then punishment is in order. This is a way for
society to limit and control crime. Laws are deemed to normalize and
make society function in an orderly manner.
The conflict view of criminal law establishes that laws were made by
the elite and powerful influential individuals, in such a way to serve
themselves. Society rules and behavior need to be put to serve them
and rules for crimes are set to punish the less fortunate and people
of lower class, both economical and societal. The book put an example
about the law against illegal drugs, or to what individuals and the
established law considers illegal. People trespassing those laws are
punished severely. Thousands of illegal drug user in jail are a prime
example. But elite individuals are not punished at all if they get and
use similar but perfectly legal drugs. Drugs that are easily available
through the help of say physician’s friends.
The sodomy law is an example of a conflict point of view of criminal
law. The book illustrates us about a case a patrol policeman caught
two male individuals in a car, one of them without pants and both were
charged and convicted based on sodomy laws. The notion of endangering
the rest of the world by practicing homosexuality is a clear example
of a law designed to inflict discrimination. The author also refers
about nobody expressing concern about “sodomy” sexual practices
between a male and a female or even worst, inside marriage.
The goals of criminal justice are Deterrence, Incapacitation,
Rehabilitation and Retribution. Incongruence and incompatibility
arises among those goals.
Deterrence is the how...