Sociology Index

Political Crime

White-Collar Crime, Blue-collar Crime, Pink-collar Crime, Corporate Crime, Occupational Crime, Organizational Crime

Political crime rarely appears in criminology texts. Introduction texts and social problems texts make mention of genocide but mostly descriptive or exemplary cases are given.

Political crime is that use of power to reproduce structures of domination. there are five major structures which inform/fuel most of the political crime in the 21st century; Patriarchy, Racism, National Chauvinism, Class exploitation/alienation, Ageism.

"I usually make distinction between privatized political crime and institutionalized political crime. Rape is an example of the first while warfare exemplar of the second." - T. R. Young, The Red Feather Institute.

Personalized Political Crime: Assault, rape, battering, beating, mugging, robbery, extortion, murder and threat of violence generally.

Institutional political crime: racism, sexism, religious bigotry; elitist forms of governance, of work, of education and of communications.

POLITICAL CRIME, POLITICAL JUST1CE, AND POLITICAL PRISONERS
W. WILLIAM MINOR, Department of Criminology Florida State University
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article is a revision of a paper read at the Eighteenth Annual Southern Conference on Corrections. February 22, 1973, Tallahassee, Florida. It incorporates many (but not all) of the helpful criticisms and suggestions made by Gordon Waldo, Theodore Chiricos, Ronald Akers, Charles Wellford, and Paul Brantigham.
ABSTRACT: Few attempts have previously been made systematically to define or interrelate the concepts of political crime, political criminal, political justice, and political prisoner. To establish a more adequate conceptual base for research, political crime and political criminals are herein defined in terms of motiwtions underlying criminal acts, regardless of the nature of the acts themselves; political justice is defined in terms of the state's reaction to perceived threat; and political prisoners are defined as those incarcerated because of either political crime (politico1 criminals) or political justice (victims of repression). Dimensions for a taxonomy of political crime are suggested.

Abolishing probation – a political crime? - Philip Priestley, Maurice Vanstone, Swansea University
Ironically, on the eve of its centenary, the probation service–despite its unique position within the criminal justice system–is in greater danger of extinction than at any time in its history. This article argues that populist-driven policies offer little in the way of public protection against crime or reduction in the harm caused by it. Instead, it promotes the case for a renewed political commitment to probation by arguing for a constructive, evidence-based approach to community sentences based on the principle of consent, community participation, and self-sentencing–probationers sharing responsibility for devising their own rehabilitation programmes that exploit their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Terrorist on trial: the context of political crime - JM Post
When political terrorists stand trial for their violent acts, the political context inevitably plays a major role. This article describes the trial of an Abu Nidal terrorist tried in federal court for skyjacking an Egyptian airliner. The defense portrayed the traumas of the Palestinian people and of the defendant at the hands of the Israelis, offering a not guilty by reason of insanity defense on the basis of posttraumatic stress disorder. Making sense to the jury of how a sane individual could carry out a violent act in which more than 50 innocent men, women, and children died was the task of the author, who served as expert for the U.S. Department of Justice. The paper describes how the subject was socialized to violence in the refugee camps, where he was inspired to be a soldier in the revolution in order to reclaim his family lands. Nationalist-separatist terrorism is particularly intractable because of the generational transmission of hatred and revenge.

Politics, culture, and political crime: Covariates of abortion clinic attacks in the United States - Joshua D. Freilicha and William Alex Pridemoreb
Abstract: This study examined crime and violence against abortion clinics, testing elements of several theories that may help explain the variation of such attacks. The study theoretically and methodologically improved upon the prior research on abortion-related crime and violence. Theoretically, it investigated previously unexamined hypotheses from the social movement literature that may be relevant to this type of behavior. Methodologically, it used more careful measures for several variables, employed unique and heretofore ignored data bases, and examined hundreds of criminal acts across several types of crime (e.g., violence, vandalism, and harassment) directed at abortion clinics. Employing robust logistic regression and correcting for clustering of clinics by state, the study investigated the cross-sectional effects of state-level cultural and structural characteristics on anti-abortion crimes against clinics and staff. Results indicated that some crimes against clinics are more likely in areas where female empowerment is weaker, female victimization is more tolerated, and the anti-abortion movement has failed to reduce abortions.

Prosecuting Political Crime: An Analysis of Politicizing Terrorism Trials in Federal Cases 1980 to 2001 - Shields, Christopher., Smith, Brent., Damphousse, Kelly. and Ziegler, Kris.
Abstract: Research conducted by Smith and Damphousse (1998) reveals that defendants indicted and convicted after an official FBI terrorism investigation are more likely to receive harsher prison sentences than nonterrorists convicted for the same lead offense. Their research also reveals that Assistant United States Attorneys do not always politicize the terrorism trials they prosecute. The reason it seems, is that explicitly politicizing trials has occasionally backfired with some juries resulting in acquittal. Indeed, prosecutors in some cases have employed legal tools (e.g. motions in limine) to prevent any mention of political motive. From the framework of structural contextual theory and the liberation hypothesis, this paper will make use of data from the American Terrorism Study to analyze what factors are operating to determine whether a case is explicitly politicized, and the effect that explicit politicality has on case outcomes. Among the factors analyzed are the public's sentiment surrounding the case, the severity of the charges filed in the case, and the how clearly elements of conspiracy are articulated in the case. The American Terrorism Study database contains information gleaned from over 150 federal terrorism court cases filed in United States District Courts from 1980 to 2001.