Individuals with high social status are the associated with white-collar crimes, and this occurs especially in the context of their jobs. The legislature is reluctant in taking actions against these crimes since they least prosecute and investigate these crimes. The legislature seems to neglect the cases as the public gets less concerned with these types of crime. Due to ignorance in prosecution, the U.S congress formulated laws and statutes in the 1980s. The legislature has a challenge when it comes to dealing with corruption, frauds and corruption on the officials (Dorpat, 2007).
The crimes against persons involve murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The legislature is very sensitive with these crimes because the public gets very curious to know the fate of the convicts. Unlike in white-collar crimes the prosecutor must prosecute where there is sufficient evidence, because of the interest of the public and this will increase the respect for the law.
Crimes against Property involve burglary, theft without causing harm, larceny and arson. Using guidelines from Chapter 11 of the constitution, the legislature charges the people guilty of possessing tools that can be used in a crime scene with a fine or less than five years in imprisonment (Dorpat, 2007). The legislature treats these crimes with sensitivity and aims at convicting the suspects with an imprisonment that fails to exceed five years.
Crime levels are classified into two, felonies and misdemeanor. Felonies are crimes perceived to cause the most dangerous threats amongst the population. The punishment on felonies must exceed one-year imprisonment, but in most instances, the offenders are subjected to life imprisonment without execution or parole. Felonies include rape, kidnapping, sale of drugs and murder. Armed robbery and theft are also felonies depending on their extent. Class A is the most severe and leads to life imprisonment.
Misdemeanors crimes fail to reach the severity observed in felonies. They are less severe and criminals undergo a maximum of a year or less in jail misdemeanors experiences minimal fines that range from $1000 to $2000 (Rollins et.al, 2007).These crimes are not very serious and include aggravated assault, battery, traffic violations and indecent exposure.
Currently, the media considers against persons, crimes against property, and white-collar crimes differently. They are given different airtimes and varying publicity. Illustriously, the entertainment and news media focus overwhelmingly on most serious crimes against persons. Harassment, foregrounding descriptions of ferocious and regularly sexual interpersonal offending are regular images on the media (Greer, 2010). People, therefore, become exposed to these kinds of crimes, and mostly forms a negative perception of the crimes. Violent crimes in the media are raised as malevolent, random, and premeditated actions of the malicious folk. Additionally, crimes against persons are becoming the center of a debate and point of contention in many circumstances. People have been able to resist this influence and perceive people who engage in crimes against persons as an enemy to the society. They end up discerning and perceiving such people as outcasts to the society.
On the other hand, crimes against property and white-collar crimes, which form the majority of recorded crimes, are given sparse attention. Despite placing a major economic and social burden on the society, these crimes are mostly disregarded completely or given little attention (Greer, 2010). Moreover, the media’s emphasis on vehement crimes is also exceedingly selective. In many instances of news broadcast or on the social media, criminal victimization of strangers is emphasized rather than the risky familiarities of family skirmishes. Despite their devastating effects on the social and economic development, white-collar crimes are ignored by the media and are rarely exposed. Journalists offer a jagged focus on such crimes, as they are considered to be unimportant. People believe that such wrongdoings are harmless to the society.
However, the media’s portray of crime has changed significantly over the last few decades. The media has taken extraordinary significance in the popular imagination, criminal justice discourses, and improvement of crime strategies (Greer, 2010). Additionally, the news media representation of criminal victimization and crime victims has changed significantly. It has taken a clear focus on individuals who are variously misrepresented, underrepresented, and overrepresented. It currently focuses on ideal victims whom when they are reported to have engaged in crime, they will immediately be given criminal status and attract huge attention from the masses. The focus on ideal victims produce global warning and possibly produce change to criminal policies and practices.
Criminology theories emphasize on definite features in an effort to elucidate certain criminal behaviors. Differential opportunity and rational choice theories try to provide an analysis and understanding of why people engage in white-collar crimes (Youngs, 2013). Individuals generally, commit these crimes in order to obtain services, property, or money or to avoid liability. They want to secure business or personal advantage. Persons in leadership positions mostly commit such crimes.
Crimes against property and persons are explicated by evolution, genetics, and biology. In most instances, violent criminals are born with an irresistible urge to engage in high order crimes. Evolutionary rewards create aggressive criminal conduct among individuals (Youngs, 2013). Additionally, the social disorganization theory elucidates that an individual’s environment shapes their behavior. Environments with distressing social structures inspire individuals to engage in crimes against property and persons. People also engage in these crimes due to close interaction with people who commit similar crimes. Social interaction systems, social and economic conditions mainly affect an individual’s criminal behavior (Youngs, 2013). Due to the different theoretical applications, the media and legislature treats crimes against property, white-collar crimes, and crimes against persons differently.
Dorpat, T. L. (2007). Crimes of punishment: America's culture of violence. New York: Algora Pub
Greer, C. (2010). Crime and media: A reader. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/15712_02_Greer_Ch_02.
Rollins, J., Joffe, C. H., Greenhut, R., Allen, W., Kurland, J., Morse, S. E., Loquasto, S., MGM Home Entertainment Inc. (2005). Crimes and misdemeanors. Santa Monica, Calif: MGM Home Entertainment.
Youngs, D. (2013). Behavioural Analysis of Crime: Studies in David Canter's Investigative Psychology. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.