What Is Crime? Definitions And Categories Of Crimes Discussed.

1303 words - 5 pages

Webster's college dictionary defines a crime as an action that is deemed injurious to the public welfare and is legally prohibited. Within the United States today, crimes are taking place every few seconds. In fact, in 1995, one crime index offense took place every two seconds within the US. There are many factors in this world today, which play key roles on affecting crime. Age, gender, social class, drug use, and educational level all have a key affect on not only the amount of crimes which are being committed, but which types of crimes are being committed by which people. One interesting aspect which has an affect on crime today is ethnic and cultural origins. By breaking down crimes into which types of people commit them, one can better understand and eventually learn how to prevent certain crimes from occurring.In 1995, within the United States, as a whole, the majority of crimes were committed by whites. 66.8 percent of all crimes were committed by whites. 30.9 percent of all crimes were committed by African Americans. 1.1 percent were committed by American Indian or Alaskan Natives, and 1.1 percent were committed by Asian or Pacific Islander. These percentages give good information on the overall of who commits crimes, but it does not really go deep enough under the surface to show which crimes are committed more by which people. A further breakdown into specific crimes is much more beneficial.Murder and non-negligent manslaughter, defined in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, is the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. Crimes which are not included in this category are deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and aggravated assaults. According to the numbers for this category of crime for arrests made for ages eighteen and older, there was a total of 14,133 arrests made in 1995. 44.1 percent of these arrests were white, while 53.8 percent were committed by African Americans. American Indian and Alaskan Natives made up 0.8 percent while Asians made up 1.3 percent. This shows while overall, more whites may be committing crimes, in the category of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, more African Americans are involved.Forcible rape is defined as the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Assaults or attempts to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included within this category of crimes however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded. Of the 22,335 arrests made in 1995, 55.9 percent of these rapes were committed by whites, while 41.9 percent were by African Americans. The other 1.0 percent and 1.1 percent were committed by American Indian / Alaskan native and Asians respectively. This statistic shows that Whites committed more forcible rapes than...

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