week1 discussion

Crime Sentences

The issues that will be discussed in this course will at times be controversial. Our goal is to experience a robust discussion of the issues, understanding that we will be presented with a range of viewpoints.

To begin, we will define some of the key areas that we will visit throughout the course.

  • Should all criminals be given the same sentence for the same crime? Or should each offender’s personal characteristics be taken into account? If you agree with the latter, provide an example to illustrate.
  • Does crime serve any positive function for society? Identify five industries or companies that benefit from crime. Try to come up with examples that have not been mentioned by other students. Is it morally acceptable for a legitimate business to profit because of crime?
  • Do you think it is permissible for the state to investigate and even prosecute a person who has not yet committed a crime, based on the belief that he will do so in the future?