Listed below are books received for review over the last two months. Entries include publishing information as well as a description of the book. Unless otherwise stated, the book description is taken from the publisher’s website or the book jacket. Selected titles from this list will be chosen for a full review in forthcoming issues of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books. Previous books received are available from the links below.
|13 Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age, by Stuart P. Green. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. 440p.
“Theft claims more victims and causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet theft law is enigmatic, and fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved—especially misappropriations of intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property.
In Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle, Stuart Green assesses our current legal framework at a time when our economy increasingly commodifies intangibles and when the means of committing theft and fraud grow ever more sophisticated. Was it theft for the editor of a technology blog to buy a prototype iPhone he allegedly knew had been lost by an Apple engineer in a Silicon Valley bar? Was it theft for doctors to use a patient’s tissue without permission in order to harvest a valuable cell line? For an Internet activist to publish tens of thousands of State Department documents on his Web site?
In this full-scale critique, Green reveals that the last major reforms in Anglophone theft law, which took place almost fifty years ago, flattened moral distinctions, so that the same punishments are now assigned to vastly different offenses. Unreflective of community attitudes toward theft, which favor gradations in blameworthiness according to what is stolen and under what circumstances, and uninfluenced by advancements in criminal law theory, theft law cries out for another reformation—and soon.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation, by Beth Richie. New York: New York University Press, 2012. 244p.
“Black women in marginalized communities are uniquely at risk of battering, rape, sexual harassment, stalking and incest. Through the compelling stories of Black women who have been most affected by racism, persistent poverty, class inequality, limited access to support resources or institutions, Beth E.
Richie shows that the threat of violence to Black women has never been more serious, demonstrating how conservative legal, social, political and economic policies have impacted activism in the U.S.-based movement to end violence against women. Richie argues that Black women face particular peril because of the ways that race and culture have not figured centrally enough in the analysis of the causes and consequences of gender violence. As a result, the extent of physical, sexual and other forms of violence in the lives of Black women, the various forms it takes, and the contexts within which it occurs are minimized—at best—and frequently ignored. Arrested Justice brings issues of sexuality, class, age, and criminalization into focus right alongside of questions of public policy and gender violence, resulting in a compelling critique, a passionate re-framing of stories, and a call to action for change.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Arts of Imprisonment: Control, Resistance and Empowerment, edited by Leonidas K. Cheliotis. Farnham, UK; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012. 338p.
“The arts – spanning the visual, design, performing, media, musical, and literary genres – constitute an alternative lens through which to understand state-sanctioned punishment and its place in public consciousness. Perhaps this is especially so in the case of imprisonment: its nature, its functions, and the ways in which these register in public perceptions and desires, have historically and to some extent inherently been intertwined with the arts. But the products of this intertwinement have by no means been constant or uniform. Indeed, just as exploring imprisonment and its public meanings through the lens of the arts may reveal hitherto obscured instances of social control within or outside prisons, so too it may uncover a rich and possibly inspirational archive of resistance to them. This edited collection sheds light both on state use of the arts for the purposes of controlling prisoners and the broader public, and the use made of the arts by prisoners and portions of the broader public as tools of resistance to penal states. The book also includes a number of chapters that address arts-in-prisons programmes, making distinctive contributions to the literature on their philosophy, formation, operation, effectiveness, and research evaluation, as well as taking care to explore the politics surrounding and underpinning these multiple themes.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Colonial Discourse and Gender in U. S. Criminal Courts: Cultural Defenses and Prosecutions, by Caroline Braunmühl. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. 282p.
“The occurrence in some criminal cases of ‘cultural defenses’ on behalf of ‘minority’ defendants has stirred much debate. This book is the first to illuminate how ‘cultural evidence’ — i.e., ‘evidence’ regarding ethnicity — is actually negotiated by attorneys, expert/lay witnesses, and defendants in criminal trials. Caroline Braunmühl demonstrates that this has occurred, overwhelmingly, in ways shaped by colonialist and patriarchal discourses common in the Western world. She argues that the controversy regarding the legitimacy of a ‘cultural defense’ has tended to obscure this fact, and has been biased against minorities as well as all women from its inception, in the very terms in which the question for debate has been framed.
This study also breaks new ground by analyzing the strategies, and the failures, in which colonialist and patriarchal constructions of cultural evidence are resisted or — more commonly — colluded in by opposing attorneys, witnesses, and defendants themselves. The constructions at hand emerge as contradictory and unstable, belying the notion that cultural evidence is a matter of objective ‘information’ about another culture, rather than — as Braunmühl argues — of discourses that are inevitably normatively charged.
Colonial Discourse and Gender in US Criminal Courts moves the debate about cultural defenses onto an entirely new plane, one based upon the understanding that only in-depth empirical analyses informed by critical, rigorous theoretical reflection can do justice to the irreducibly political character of any discussion of ‘cultural evidence,’ and of its presentation in court.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Con Game: Bernard Madoff and His Victims, by Lionel S. Lewis. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2012. 279p.
“Bernard Madoff’s financial fraud was global, an enormous amount of money was involved, and thousands of people and hundreds of institutions were swindled. Madoff’s con game was a Ponzi scheme—an investment that pays returns to early investors from money acquired from subsequent investors.
Inside men, ropers, outside men, and victims are at the core of con games. Lionel S. Lewis emphasizes that it is important to understand a con game’s characteristics so as to grasp how it operates. The Madoff fraud includes elements of a variety of con games. For a comprehensive study of this economic crime, the “case study” must be seen as part of the broader social system. Considerably more is known about the dynamics of con games than about Ponzi schemes, and this fact frames this book’s approach. To better understand what Madoff did, who was central in keeping his scheme alive, whom he defrauded, and how they reacted, this work is as invaluable as it is illuminating.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry, by Mike McConville. Cheltenham, UK; Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2012. 576p.
“The political, economic and social transformations that have taken place in China over the last half-century have had a major impact upon the formal methods, institutions and mechanisms used to deal with alleged criminal infractions. This path-breaking book, based upon the largest and most systematic empirical inquiry ever undertaken in China, analyses the extent to which changes to the formal legal structure have resulted in changes to the law in practice.
With unprecedented access to prosecution case files, observation of live trials and interviews with judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers, the book paints a uniquely detailed picture of China’s criminal justice system as it operates in everyday cases. Among the major themes explored are: bail; detention; torture; confessions; the role of police, prosecutors and judges; the work of defence lawyers; pre-trial and trial practice; and sentencing practices, including the death penalty. The book shows, through volumes of quantitative data and the voices of judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers, how the party-state continues to influence and control both the process and outcome of criminal trials through an elaborate system of audit and sanction, the result of which is a system of aggregate rather than individual justice.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Criminals and Victims, by W. David Allen. Stanford, CA: Stanford Economics and Finance, Stanford University Press, 2011. 312p.
“Criminals and Victims presents an economic analysis of decisions made by criminals and victims of crime before, during, and after a crime or victimization occurs. Its main purpose is to illustrate how the application of analytical tools from economics can help us to understand the causes and consequences of criminal and victim choices, aiding efforts to deter or reduce the consequences of crime. By examining these decisions along a logical timeline over which crimes take place, we can begin to think more clearly about how policy effects change when it is targeted at specific decisions within the body of a crime.
This book differs from others by recognizing the timeline of a crime, paying particular attention to victim decisions, and examining each step in the crime cycle at the micro-level. It demonstrates that criminals plan their crimes in systematic, economically logical ways; that deterring the destruction of criminal evidence may deter crime in general; and that white-collar criminals exhibit recidivism patterns not unlike those of street criminals. It further shows that the degree of criminality in a society motivates a variety of self-protection behaviors by potential victims; that not all victim resistance makes matters worse (and some may help); and that victims who report their crimes do not receive high returns for going to the police, helping to explain why some crimes ultimately go unreported.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Environmental Psychology of Prisons and Jails: Creating Humans Spaces in Secure Settings, by Richard E. Wener. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 318p.
“This book distills thirty years of research on the impacts of jail and prison environments. The research program began with evaluations of new jails that were created by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which had a novel design intended to provide a nontraditional and safe environment for pretrial inmates, and documented the stunning success of these jails in reducing tension and violence. This book uses assessments of this new model as a basis for considering the nature of environment and behavior in correctional settings, and more broadly in all human settings. It provides a critical review of research on jail environments and of specific issues critical to the way they are experienced and places them in historical and theoretical context. It presents a contextual model for the way environment influences the chance of violence.” (From the Publisher’s Website)
|European Criminal Law: An Integrative Approach, 2nd Edition, by André Klip. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia, 2012. 580p.
“European criminal law is explained as a multi-level field of law, in which the European Union has a normative influence on substantive criminal law, criminal procedure and on the co-operation between Member States. This book aims to describe the contours of the emerging criminal justice system of the European Union and to present a coherent picture of the legislation enacted and the case law on European Union level and its influence on national criminal law and criminal procedure.
Among the topics and questions covered in this book are the following: What does mutual recognition mean in the context of the European Arrest Warrant? How can European Union law be invoked by an accused? When is the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms applicable in national criminal proceedings? These and other pertinent questions are dealt with on the basis of an in-depth analysis of the case law of the Court of Justice and legislation. In addition the book challenges the reader to assess the mutual (and sometimes conflicting) influence of European Union law and national criminal law respectively and explains how European Union law will usually prevail although national criminal law still remains relevant.
The book covers a wealth of court decisions and legal instruments, making European Criminal Law, written for practitioners, academics and students, an invaluable source for every criminal and European lawyer. This 2nd updated and extended edition covers all recent developments since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The European Public Prosecutor’s Office: Analysis of a Multilevel Criminal Justice System, by Martijn Willem Zwiers. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia, 2011. 504p.
“After years of debate, the Treaty of Lisbon introduced a legal basis for the introduction of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office in article 86 TFEU. This provision indicates that the Council may establish this new Office from Eurojust, and that it will be competent to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union and possibly serious cross-border crime. However, this provision leaves more questions than it answers. In particular those questions related to the way the Office may be embedded in the Union’s institutional structure are addressed in this book.
It comprises a broad discussion of the Member States´ prosecution services, the European Union´s institutional context, Eurojust, direct enforcement in the field of competition law by the European Competition Network, and proposals on the structure of the Office that were drafted prior to the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Evil, by Michel Wieviorka. Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012. 180p.
“In contrast to traditional systems of thought which regarded evil as a supernatural force that explained human misfortune, Michel Wieviorka develops a sociological analysis of evil phenomena. His aim is to explain evil, to reveal its social, political, and cultural sources, and to clarify the processes through which the present-day forms of evil – terrorism, violence, racism, and active hatred – are constituted.
A synthesis of the author’s detailed studies of these forms of evil, this book offers a fresh approach to the understanding of the darker regions of human behaviour. If we wish to live in an open, democratic world in which each individual constructs his or her own experience and leads his or her own life in a spirit of respect for and solidarity with others, then we must understand the processes that lead in totally different directions, negating the individual’s subjectivity and moral and physical integrity. Michel Wieviorka invites us to do just that in this highly topical and engaging book.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Fear and Crime in Latin America: Redefining State-Society Relations, by Lucía Dammert. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. 180p.
“The feeling of insecurity is a little known phenomenon that has been only partially explored by social sciences. However, it has a deep social, cultural and economic impact and may even contribute to define the very structures of the state. In Latin America, fear of crime has become an important stumbling block in the region’s process of democratization. After long spells of dictatorships and civil wars, violence in the region was supposed to be under control yet crime rates have continued to skyrocket and citizens remain fearful. This analytical puzzle has troubled researchers and to date there is no publication which explores this problem.
Based on a wealth of cutting edge qualitative and quantitative research, Lucía Dammert proposes a unique theoretical perspective which includes a sociological, criminological and political analysis to understand fear of crime. She describes its linkages to issues such as urban segregation, social attitudes, institutional trust, public policies and authoritarian discourses in Chile’s recent past. Looking beyond Chile, Dammert also includes a regional comparative perspective allowing readers to understand the complex elements underpinning this situation.
Fear and Crime in Latin America challenges many assumptions and opens an opportunity to discuss an issue that affects everyone with key societal and personal costs. As crime rates increase and states become even more fragile, fear of crime as a social problem will continue to have an important impact in Latin America.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|International Criminal Law Collection, edited by C. Tofan. The Hague: International Courts Association, 2011. 446p.
“International criminal law has developed extraordinarily quickly over the last decade, with the creation of ad hoc tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the establishment of a permanent international criminal court. This collection provides a timely and comprehensive survey of emerging and existing areas of international criminal law. The book features documents, papers, and comments by a range of international and leading experts in the field. It contains reflections on the theoretical aspects and contemporary debates in international criminal law. Divided into three parts, the book examines: a) the history and institutional aspects related to international criminal law (work of the tribunals, history of crime, warfare, etc.); b) the crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, etc.); and c) practical issues related to international criminal law. The book includes extensive bibliographic information on the topics of discussion. Covering all key aspects, this collection is an essential reference work for students, scholars, and practitioners working in the field of international criminal law.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure, by Jody Lyneé Madeira. New York: New York University Press, 2012. 336p.
“On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a two-ton truck bomb that felled the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. On June 11, 2001, an unprecedented 242 witnesses watched him die by lethal injection.
In the aftermath of the bombings, American public commentary almost immediately turned to “closure” rhetoric. Reporters and audiences alike speculated about whether victim’s family members and survivors could get closure from memorial services, funerals, legislation, monuments, trials, and executions. But what does “closure” really mean for those who survive—or lose loved ones in—traumatic acts? In the wake of such terrifying events, is closure a realistic or appropriate expectation?
In Killing McVeigh, Jody Lyneé Madeira uses the Oklahoma City Bombing as a case study to explore how family members and other survivors come to terms with mass murder. As the fullest case study to date of the Oklahoma City Bombing survivors’ struggle for justice and the first-ever case study of closure, this book describes the profound human and institutional impacts of these labors to demonstrate the importance of understanding what closure really is before naively asserting it can or has been reached.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Labour Migration, Human Trafficking and Multinational Corporations: The Commodification of Illicit Flows, edited by Ato Quayson and Antonela Arhin. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. 192p.
“Although much literature on human trafficking focuses on sex trafficking, a great deal of human trafficking results from migrant workers, compelled – by economic deprivation in their home countries – to seek better life opportunities abroad, especially in agriculture, construction and domestic work. Such labour migration is sometimes legal and well managed, but sometimes not so – with migrant workers frequently threatened or coerced into entering debt bondage arrangements and ending up working in forced labour situations producing goods for illicit markets. This book fills a substantial gap in the existing literature given that labour trafficking is a much more subtle form of exploitation than sex trafficking. It discusses how far large multinational corporations are involved, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in human trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation. They explore how far corporations are driven to seek cheap labour by the need to remain commercially competitive and examine how the problem often lies with corporations’ subcontractors, who are not as well controlled as they might be. The essays in the volume also outline and assess measures being taken by governments and international agencies to eradicate the problem.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Language of Crime and Deviance: An Introduction to Critical Linguistic Analysis in Media and Popular Culture, by Andrea Mayr and David Machin. London; New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2012. 256p.
“There is now a long tradition of academic literature in media studies and criminology that has analysed how we come to think about crime, deviance and punishment. This book for the first time deals specifically with the role of language in this process, showing how critical linguistic analysis can provide further crucial insights into media representations of crime and criminals. Through case studies the book develops a toolkit for the analysis of language and images in examples taken from a range of media.
The Language of Crime and Deviance covers spoken, written and visual media discourses and focuses on a number of specific areas of crime and criminal justice, including media constructions of young people and women; media and the police, ‘reality’ crime shows; corporate crime; prison and drugs. It is therefore a welcome and valuable contribution to the fields of linguistics, criminology, media and cultural studies.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Life without Parole America’s New Death Penalty?, edited by Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. and Austin Sarat. New York: New York University Press, 2012. 352p.
“Is life without parole the perfect compromise to the death penalty? Or is it as ethically fraught as capital punishment? This comprehensive, interdisciplinary anthology treats life without parole as “the new death penalty.” Editors Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. and Austin Sarat bring together original work by prominent scholars in an effort to better understand the growth of life without parole and its social, cultural, political, and legal meanings. What justifies the turn to life imprisonment? How should we understand the fact that this penalty is used disproportionately against racial minorities? What are the most promising avenues for limiting, reforming, or eliminating life without parole sentences in the United States? Contributors explore the structure of life without parole sentences and the impact they have on prisoners, where the penalty fits in modern theories of punishment, and prospects for (as well as challenges to) reform.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Manifest Madness: Mental Incapacity in Criminal Law, by Arlie Loughnan. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2012. 312p.
“Whether it is a question of the age below which a child cannot be held liable for their actions, or the attribution of responsibility to defendants with mental illnesses, mental incapacity is a central concern for legal actors, policy makers, and legislators when it comes to crime and justice.
Understanding the terrain of mental incapacity in criminal law is notoriously difficult; it involves tracing overlapping and interlocking legal doctrines, current and past practices including those of evidence and proof, and also medical and social understanding of mental order and incapacity. Bringing together previously disparate discussions on criminal responsibility from law, psychology, and philosophy, this book provides a close study of mental incapacity defences, analysing their development through historical cases to the modern era. It maps the shifting boundaries between normality and abnormality as constructed in law, arguing that ‘manifest madness’ – the distinct character of mental incapacity revealed by this interdisciplinary approach – has a broad significance for understanding the criminal law as a whole.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent?, by Daniel Givelber and Amy Farrell. New York: New York University Press, 2012. 224p.
“As scores of death row inmates are exonerated by DNA evidence and innocence commissions are set up across the country, conviction of the innocent has become a well-recognized problem. But our justice system makes both kinds of errors—we acquit the guilty and convict the innocent—and exploring the reasons why people are acquitted can help us to evaluate the efficiency and fairness of our criminal justice system. Not Guilty provides a sustained examination and analysis of the factors that lead juries to find defendants ‘not guilty,’ as well as the connection between those factors and the possibility of factual innocence, examining why some criminal trials result in not guilty verdicts and what those verdicts suggest about the accuracy of our criminal process.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Parental Incarceration and the Family: Psychological and Social Effects of Imprisonment on Children, Parents, and Caregivers, by Joyce A. Arditti. New York: New York University Press, 2012. 258p.
“Over 2% of U.S.children under the age of 18—more than 1,700,000 children—have a parent in prison. These children experience very real disadvantages when compared to their peers: they tend to experience lower levels of educational success, social exclusion, and even a higher likelihood of their own future incarceration. Meanwhile, their new caregivers have to adjust to their new responsibilities as their lives change overnight, and the incarcerated parents are cut off from their children’s development.
Parental Incarceration and the Family brings a family perspective to our understanding of what it means to have so many of our nation’s parents in prison. Drawing from the field’s most recent research and the author’s own fieldwork, Parental Incarceration and the Family offers an in-depth look at how incarceration affects entire families: offender parents, children, and care-givers. Through the use of exemplars, anecdotes, and reflections, Joyce Arditti puts a human face on the mass of humanity behind bars, as well as those family members who are affected by a parent’s imprisonment. In focusing on offenders as parents, a radically different social policy agenda emerges—one that calls for real reform and that responds to the collective vulnerabilities of the incarcerated and their kin.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Police Reform in Mexico: Informal Politics and the Challenge of Institutional Change, by Daniel M. Sabet. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012. 296p.
“The urgent need to professionalize Mexican police has been recognized since the early 1990s, but despite even the most well-intentioned promises from elected officials and police chiefs, few gains have been made in improving police integrity.
Why have reform efforts in Mexico been largely unsuccessful? This book seeks to answer the question by focusing on Mexico’s municipal police, which make up the largest percentage of the country’s police forces. Indeed, organized crime presents a major obstacle to institutional change, with criminal groups killing hundreds of local police in recent years. Nonetheless, Daniel Sabet argues that the problems of Mexican policing are really problems of governance. He finds that reform has suffered from a number of policy design and implementation challenges. More importantly, the informal rules of Mexican politics have prevented the continuity of reform efforts across administrations, allowed patronage appointments to persist, and undermined anti-corruption efforts.
|Policing the Markets: Inside the Black Box of Securities Enforcement, by James M. Williams. London; New York: Routledge, 2012. 244p.
“Set against the backdrop of the recurring waves of financial scandal and crisis to hit Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe over the last decade, this book examines the struggles of securities enforcement agencies to police the financial markets. While allegations of regulatory failure in this realm are commonplace and are well documented in policy and legal scholarship, James Williams seeks to move beyond these conventional accounts arguing that they are based on a limited view of the regulatory process and overlook the actual practices and dilemmas of enforcement work. Informed by interviews with police, regulators, lawyers, accountants, and investor advocates, along with a wealth of documentary materials, the book is rooted in a uniquely interdisciplinary social science perspective. Peering inside the black box of enforcement, it examines the organizational, professional, geographical, technological, and legal influences that shape securities enforcement as a distinctly knowledge-based enterprise. The result of these influences, Williams argues, is the production of a very particular vision of financial disorder which captures certain forms of misconduct while overlooking others, a reflection not of incompetence or capture but of the unique demands and constraints of the regulatory craft. Providing a very different, and much needed, account of the challenges faced by regulators and enforcement agencies, this book will be of enormous interest to current research on enforcement, regulation, and governance both within and beyond the financial realm.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Rethinking Criminal Law Theory: New Canadian Perspectives in the Philosophy of Domestic, Transnational, and International Criminal Law, edited by François Tanguay-Renaud and James Stribopoulos. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2012. 334p.
“In the last two decades, the philosophy of criminal law has undergone a vibrant revival in Canada. The adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has given the Supreme Court of Canada unprecedented latitude to engage with principles of legal, moral, and political philosophy when elaborating its criminal law jurisprudence. Canadian scholars have followed suit by paying increased attention to the philosophical foundations of domestic criminal law. Because of Canada’s leadership in international criminal law, both at the level of the International Criminal Court and of specific war crimes tribunals, they have also begun to turn their attention to international criminal law per se. This collection seeks to bring all these Canadian voices together for the first time, and evidence the fact that criminal law theory is no longer to be associated exclusively with the older British, German and American traditions. The topics covered include questions of philosophical methodology, the legitimate scope of domestic and international criminalization, rationales for criminal law defences in both domestic and international law, the philosophical underpinnings of specific crimes and forms of joint responsibility, as well as the theorization of criminal procedure and evidence law.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|The Rights of Children in International Criminal Law; Children as Actor and Victim of Crime, edited by C. Tofan, L. de Beer, and D. De Ruiter. The Hague: International Courts Association, 2011. 334p.
“The use of children as soldiers has been universally condemned as abhorrent and unacceptable. Yet, over the last decade hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in conflicts around the world. Children involved in armed conflict are frequently killed or injured during combat or while carrying out other tasks. They are forced to engage in hazardous activities such as laying mines or explosives, as well as using weapons. Child soldiers are usually forced to live under harsh conditions with insufficient food and little or no access to healthcare. They are almost always treated brutally, subjected to beatings and humiliating treatment. Punishments for mistakes or desertion are often very severe. Girl soldiers are particularly at risk of rape, sexual harassment and abuse as well as being involved in combat and other tasks. Children can be actors in wars when they become soldiers to fight for a party and at the same time children will be the biggest victim of these wars. This book examines recent case law, developments and actions being taken by the international community.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Seeking Security: Pre-Empting the Commission of Criminal Harms, edited by G R Sullivan and Ian Dennis. Oxford, UK; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2012. 370p.
“Many academic criminal lawyers and criminal law theorists seek to resolve the optimum conditions for a criminal law fit to serve a liberal democracy. Typical wish lists include a criminal law that intervenes against any given individual only when there is a reasonable suspicion that s/he has caused harm to the legally protected interests of another or was on the brink of doing so. Until there is conduct that gives rise to a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct by an individual, s/he should be allowed to go about his or her business free from covert surveillance or other forms of intrusion. All elements of crimes should be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. Any punishment should be proportionate to the gravity of the wrongdoing and when the offender has served this punishment the account should be cleared and good standing recovered. Seeking Security explores the gap between the normative aspirations of liberal, criminal law scholarship and the current criminal law and practice of Anglophone jurisdictions. The concern with security and risk, which in large part explains the disconnection between theory and practice, seems set to stay and is a major challenge to the form and relevance of a large part of criminal law scholarship.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|They Wished They Were Honest: The Knapp Commission and New York City Police Corruption, by Michael F. Armstrong. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. 272p.
“In fifty years of prosecuting and defending criminal cases in New York City and elsewhere,
Serpico’s charges against the NYPD encouraged Mayor John Lindsay to appoint prominent attorney Whitman Knapp to chair a Citizen’s Commission on police graft. Overcoming a number of organizational, budgetary, and political hurdles, Chief Counsel Armstrong cobbled together an investigative group of a half-dozen lawyers and a dozen agents. Just when funding was about to run out, the “blue wall of silence” collapsed. A flamboyant “Madame,” a corrupt lawyer, and a weasely informant led to a “super thief” cop, who was trapped and “turned” by the Commission. This led to sensational and revelatory hearings, which publicly refuted the notion that departmental corruption was limited to only a “few rotten apples.”
In the course of his narrative, Armstrong illuminates police investigative strategy; governmental and departmental political maneuvering; ethical and philosophical issues in law enforcement; the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the police’s anticorruption efforts; the effectiveness of the training of police officers; the psychological and emotional pressures that lead to corruption; and the effects of police criminality on individuals and society. He concludes with the effects, in today’s world, of Knapp and succeeding investigations into police corruption and the value of permanent outside monitoring bodies, such as the special prosecutor’s office, formed in response to the Commission’s recommendation, as well as the current monitoring commission, of which Armstrong is chairman.” (From Publisher’s Website)
|Transgressive Imaginations: Crime, Deviance and Culture, by Maggie O’Neil and Lizzie Seal. London; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 200p.
“Taking the notion of transgression – the breaking of boundaries – as its starting point, this book brings a fresh approach to cultural criminology by exploring representations of the transgressive in fictive texts and ethnographic research. Chapters focus on topics of urgent contemporary interest, including school shooters, violent female avengers, sex workers, those labelled ‘mad’, serial killers, asylum seekers and skid row residents. The book is interdisciplinary in scope, blending insights from film and media studies, literary criticism and psycho-social analysis with cultural criminology. It also presents cutting edge, participatory arts-based ethnography carried out in the UK and Canada.” (From Publisher’s Website)