Crime and the United States

Essay by ShroomieHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 1996

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A crime is defined as 'an act committed in violation of a law forbidding it and for which a variety of punishments may be imposed.' Crimes are classified into two basic groups; 'mala in se' which are crimes that are evil in themselves, and 'mala prohibitita' which are crimes that are only crimes because society at the time deems them wrong.

In these days crime is more easy perceived by society. Surveys of public opinion in the United States show that more and more people believe that crime is increasing. People feel less safe in their environment and have thus taken measures to protect themselves.

But is this view accurate? Most of the crime rates from 1973 to 1992 have risen greatly. In 1973 there was a murder every 27 minutes. Now there is a murder every 22 minutes. The astounding fact is in 1973 there was a violent crime every 6 minutes but now it has increased to a murder every 16 seconds.

Crime per thousand from between 1983 and 1992 rose 9.4 percent but from 1991 to 1992 it went down 4 percent. In recent years crime has been decreasing. Property crime, murder, robbery, and burglary have all decreased at least three percent in recent years but that is not much. There is one exception; rape which has gone up 3 percent. Violent crime has risen 40.9 since 1983 while in recent years it has only gone down a tenth of a percent. This may be one of the reasons people feel less safe. People aren't afraid of larceny or property crimes. They are afraid of violent crimes, which is why is recent years they feel insecure.

Many people believe the problem is in the trial system itself. Not enough people are convicted. In our trial system...