Criminal law is shaped and predetermined by several criminological theories that are applied to human behavior when considering come actions as either criminal or legal. Depending on the approach, some activities might be legal in one country and illegal in another. In this essay, the opinion on criminalization and legalization is provided to illustrate the issues that are misidentified by the current US criminal law.
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In the USA, which is commonly regarded as a highly democratic country, the legality of particular aspects of life and interpersonal interaction depends on public opinion and consequently reflects it. According to Siegel (2019), current criminal law discourages revenge, “enforces social control,” “expresses public opinion,” teaches moral values,” deters criminal behavior,” and “creates equity” (p. 18). The latter is significant for immigration and sex trafficking because people involved in these processes are not treated with equity under current law. Firstly, undocumented immigration should be decriminalized and legalized to ensure the safety of the refugees fleeing to the USA.
In such a manner, immigrants will obtain the protection they seek from the US government and an opportunity to live a safe life. Secondly, receiving sex services from victims of sex trafficking should be criminalized. Current criminal law has punishment in force for traffickers but omits to hold the recipients of such services responsible. Therefore, criminalizing the usage of sex services by victims of sex trafficking would be a measure of ensuring equity of responsibilities of all parties involved in the crime of sex trafficking.
Thus, the identification of drawbacks in the current criminal law is a way of improving it. Past laws might seem unusual for contemporaries since life standards and moral values shift. Therefore, continuous change is relevant to the sphere of criminology. Decriminalization of undocumented immigration and criminalization of being a recipient of sex services from individuals victimized in sex trafficking would be positive changes in the current legislature.
Siegel, L. J. (2019). Criminology: The Core (7th ed.). Cengage.