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Crime: Its Cause and Treatment [Paperback]

Clarence Darrow , Simon Baatz

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Book Description

Feb. 3 2009 Kaplan Classics of Law
Clarence Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union He is remembered for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb and defending John T. Scopes in the Scopes Trial (1925). Darrow began his career as a corporate lawyer and soon switched to criminal law. Darrow was an eloquent speaker and often spoke out against the death penalty. Here Darrow presents his ideas on the latest scientific thought and investigation bearing upon the question of human conduct. Darrow says, "My main effort is to show that the laws that control human behavior are as fixed and certain as those that control the physical world. In fact, that the manifestations of the mind and the actions of men are a part of the physical world."
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; Original edition (Feb. 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427799512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427799517
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.1 x 20 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,535,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Clarence Darrow was a renowned American attorney who successfully represented defendents in two of the most famous trials of the 20th century. He had an unusually broad legal experience, practicing corporate, criminal, and labor law--all with great success. He is remembered for his wit, compassion, and passionate defense of civil liberties.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was this written about Raskolnikov? Dec 6 2006
By Fitzgerald Fan - Published on Amazon.com
I recently wrote a seminar paper in which I discuss the criminality, duality, and psychology of Dostoevsky's "Raskolnikov" (from Crime and Punishment). Randomly, I came across Darrow's book while I was doing my research and could not believe how well it related to the overall psychology that pervades Dostoevsky's text.
The idea that reason has little to do with crime and that the environment, in addition to instinct, is responsible for the actions of the human machine are very interesting indeed. Of course, in today's times, this opinion may not be favored, but if you are a fan of writers such as Dostoevsky and the problems of unexplained crime such as murder with no motive, Darrow's ideas do seem to have a certain amount of merit.
Personally, I believe that Dostoevsky and Darrow should be read in conjunction---but, if you've no interest in the greatest Russian novel ever written, I still recommend Darrow's book on its own. It is thought provoking at the very least. Recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cogently argued theory of the root causes of crime by an intuitive genius who was way ahead of his time Nov. 30 2013
By No45 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Clarence Darrow was an intuitive genius whose theories on the causes of crime were way ahead of his time. Darrow wrote this book in 1922. It would be another 30 years before the structure and function of DNA would be discovered, Today, more than 75 years after it was written, cutting edge neurological research seems to support Darrow's central hypothesis that criminal behavior is caused by psycho-physical factors that are beyond the individual's control.

Scientists working in the new field of neuro-economics have established a direct link between the mechanics that regulates individual decision-making and the genetic structure of the human brain. Just last week an international team of scientists announced the discovery of the specific part of the brain that controls decision making. See "Scientists discover brain part that drives decision-making," [...] (Nov. 25, 2013). See also "Fundamental role for lateral habenula in promoting subjective decision biases," [...] >>>

Additional research in this area is also being conducted in the Glimcher Lab at NYU. [...]
See Paul W. Glimcher (2008) Neuroeconomics. Scholarpedia, 3(10):1759); See also "The Neural Basis of Decision Making," >> [...] (2007).

While the scientific research on the causal connection between brain structure and decision-making is still in its infancy, it increasingly looks as if variations or defects in the physical structure of the human brain can predispose certain individuals to engage in the type of impulsive decision-making that precipitates criminal conduct. Although the researchers have been focusing their studies on economic decision-making, the implications of this research for the administration of the criminal justice system are obvious. Can individuals with specific variations in brain structure be considered to have been "hard-wired" for a life of crime?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Commentary is as important today as it was when Darrow wrote it. Sept. 7 2013
By Patrick King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I expected this book to be dated. It is not. Darrow's wisdom and farsighted world view saw the problems with law enforcement as they evolved in the early 20th century and anticipated the problems we face nearly a hundred years later. This book is essential to those who care about justice and the US Constitution.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars crime at its best Nov. 12 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
great book to read and share with others. a must for all law graduates.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nature v. Nurture June 17 2014
By michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although written over 90 years ago, many of Darrow's views permeate today's thinking. He basically posits that man is not morally bad but engages in criminal acts because of the interplay between his poor environment and physical weaknesses. Some of the vocabulary and conclusions are kind of funny but most are spot-on. He calls the body the "machine" and posits "duckless glands" often release substances that cause violent behaviors that cannot be prevented. He basically is speaking of hormones but the science and jargon of the day was limited. I found it a great read. He concludes that we should make environments easier for criminals when they are released and to treat offenders more on the lines like that of the mentally or physically ill to avoid labeling. Although there are many chapters they are very short. One major negative is that it is really just a long and well-written essay. He admits to and uses no references, data, or even citations.

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