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"Crisis of Overcriminalization"?

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Overcriminalization refers to the idea that laws regulating public morality may result in a substantial diversion of police, prosecutorial, and judicial time, personnel and resources. While legislative views on morality may, legitimately, be included in crimes such as murder, rape and other violent crimes, they may inappropriately extend to other areas of our lives, such as our sexual preference (sodomy) and use of intoxicants (i.e. Prohibition). How far into the private lives of citizens may government-sanctioned views of morality properly intrude? Do you believe that a "crisis of overcriminalization" actually exists in the United States right now?

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Interesting topic! One approach to look at various arguments which you can consider for your final argument. This is the approach this response takes. I also attached two supporting article, which this response refers to by page number for easy referencing.

RESPONSE:

1. Overcriminalization refers to the idea that laws regulating public morality may result in a substantial diversion of police, prosecutorial, and judicial time, personnel and resources. While legislative views on morality may, legitimately, be included in crimes such as murder, rape and other violent crimes, they may inappropriately extend to other areas of our lives, such as our sexual preference (sodomy) and use of intoxicants (i.e. Prohibition). How far into the private lives of citizens may government-sanctioned views of morality properly intrude? Do you believe that a "crisis of overcriminalization" actually exists in the United States right now?

The debate about overcriminalization is ongoing, so it depends. It talks to the larger topic of the role of the government when it comes to morality. What about the separation of state and church? However, as Richards argumentatively points out that the United States Constitution is rooted in Calvinism and religion. See attached chapter, somewhat dated (1982), but still presents an excellent background of the various arguments. See the article: Overcriminalization.pdf for a definition (p. 12) and overview of the "crisis of overcriminalization" in the United States.

Arguments

Many argue that there is a crisis of overcriminalization in the United States (see the attached article which discusses the original Constitution of the United States being rooted in religion; this is where prohibition and sex crimes became against the law, p. 3). Today, many arguments of people in United States in opposition of overcriminalization (e.g., autonomy and human rights to make own decision, victimless crimes take up scare resources; etc.) are based on the felt injustices in our criminal justice system at every stage of its operation, and proponents question the assumptions underlying this conception of criminal justice. One theory for such an analysis is utilitarianism, which radically questions the whole perspective on human rights implicit in American constitutionalism; another is an antiutilitarian natural rights theory (universal human right to make own decisions, e.g consensual sex, drugs, death, suicide, etc.), which takes seriously ideas of human rights implicit in American constitutional practice but affords a critical call for reinterpreting their implications for criminal ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses how far into the private lives of citizens the "government-sanctioned views of morality" should be allowed to intrude. It also debates if a "crisis of overcriminalization" actually exists in the United States right now. Supplemented with extra resources on the overcriminalization debate.

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Significance and theoretical framework

I need help in writing Significance and Framework of the study on the topic: The impact of Illegal Immigration on crime rates in South Texas: A perception study through the lenses of Immigrants and non-Immigrant (3-4 pages).

Note: The topic has been slightly modified from the impact of Border enforcement to the impact of illegal immigration.

Topic: The impact of Illegal Immigration on crime rates in South Texas: A perception study through the lenses of Immigrants and non-Immigrant

References

Laidler, K. J. (2009). Immigration and Crime: The Effects of Immigration on Criminal Behavior. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, 38(1), 42-43.

Ousey, G. C., & Kubrin, C. E. (2009). Exploring the connection between immigration and violent crime rates in US cities, 1980-2000
Vaughan, J., & Camarota, S. (2009). Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue: Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved from http://cis.org/ImmigrantCrime
Reid, L. W., Weiss, H. E., Adelman, R. M., & Jaret, C. (2005). The immigration-crime relationship: Evidence across US metropolitan areas. Social Science Research, 34(4), 757.
Bucerius, S. &Tonry, M. (2013).The Oxford Handbook of Ethnicity, Crime, and Immigration.Oxford University Press.
Chacon, J. (2010)." Tensions and Trade-Offs: Protecting Trafficking Victims in the Era of Immigration Enforcement," in University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 158, 2010, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-19. Retrieved from https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/26-chacon158upalrev16092010pdf
"Overcriminalizing Immigration," in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 102, Issue 3: Symposium on Overcriminalization, Article 5. Retrieved from http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7434&context=jclc
Coronado, R. &Orrenius, P. (2007)."Crime on the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Effect of Undocumented Immigration and Border Enforcement, " MigracionesInternacionales, V. 4, n. 1, Juni, Mexico.Retrieved from http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S166589062007000100002
Haugen, D. & Musser, S. (2011). Illegal Immigration. Greenhaven Press (CA).
Krauss, R. & Pardo, J. (2006)."Speaker Perception and Social Behavior: Bridging Social Psychology and Speech Science, " P. A. M. van Lange (Ed), Bridging Social Psychology: The Benefits of Transdisciplinary Approaches (pp. 273-278). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/1086119/Speaker_perception_and_social_behavior_Bridging_social_psychology_and_speech_science
Lee, M. (2003).Crime on the Border: Immigration and Homicide in Urban Communities (New Americans). LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC .
McDonald, W.F. (2009). Immigration, Crime and Justice.Emerald Group Publishing.
Meissner, D., Kerwin, D., Chishti, M. & Bergeron, C. (2013).Immigration Enforcement in the United States - The Rise of a Formidable Machinery (Report in Brief). Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved fromhttp://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/pillars-reportinbrief.pdf
Palafox, J. (2000). "Opening Up Borderland Studies: A Review of U.S.-Mexico Border Militarization Discourse, " in Social Justice, 27:56-68. Retrieved from http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/palafox.html

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