1). Organized crime is so entrenched in contemporary society that the best the criminal justice system can hope for is just “to ameliorate somewhat its most damaging effects”. Is this a reasonable assessment? Organized crime (OC) is also referred to as syndicate crime. Syndicate crime implies that the participants are driven by thirst and greed to acquire large sums of money through illegal means based on conspiracy practices. Organized crime is not easily defined. Most countries have had numerous experiences of organized crime, yet unable to control it effectively.
However, not many of the countries have been able to distinguish OC from other forms of crime until recently. Australia, for instance, had bad experiences with organized gangs for quite some time. This country was unable to investigate on organized crime not until in the 1980s. Many organized crimes in Australia cropped in the 1950s when economics depressions of the 20th Century were prevalent. Organized crimes like, “Carlton Crew” and “The Honorable Society” crimes in Melbourne were detrimental to this country and they resembled crime structure of gangs in Italy.
The United States, on the other hand, defines organized crime as “a society that seeks to operate outside the control of the American people and their governments. ” According to the Unites States Task Force, in 1967 report, OC involves conspiracy in amassing large sums of money from illegitimate operations of a group or association. Organized crime is criminalized in a number of countries. In other nations the problem of organized crime is dealt with through legislative devices.
Italy has a legal code that defines organized crime as any criminal association in which three or more individuals associate closely in the commission of a series of crimes. In this case the code specifies that any of the parties of this kind of association is punishable before the court of law. They deserve to be imprisoned for three to seven years. In this essay the discussion will be geared towards giving clarification and a thorough scrutiny of organized crime and its effect in the contemporary society.
The essay will also seek to identify measures that the government and the criminal justice have taken to control organized crime. In the attempts to give a detailed analysis of the nature of organized crime it is important to discus the role of criminal justice in OC. In this respect it is worth identifying if there is any way in which organized crime can be totally eradicated or is it true that Organized crime is so entrenched in contemporary society that the best the criminal justice system can hope for is just “to ameliorate somewhat its most damaging effects”?
The war against organized crime as performed by different criminal justice organizations of different countries is confronted by various challenges. Most countries define organized crime differently from others where this brings difficulties in fighting cross-border organized crime. The varied concepts related on organized crime is a major set back to the development of strategic control measures to organized crime. More so, the diversification in the definition of characteristics of organized crime by various organizations is still a controversial issue in the control of OC, (Newton, M. , 2007).
This is because organized crime has several characteristics that may be common in most States yet different in others. Therefore governments need to come up with a more universal definition of organized crime. This will assist in the operations of criminal justice system to solve problems associated with organized crime, related to transnational operations. Organized crime is characterized by some features as reflected in different research organizations. It is characterized by a long term and persistent (continued) desire to generate large profits, from progressive or self-driven criminal scheme.
Another characteristic of OC is corruption within both the private and public sectors. Public or private officials may coordinate to organize and protect their business and corporate societies while focusing on a criminal activity. More over, OC is characteristic of legitimate business involvement that provides reputable foundations for business in which legitimacy for the business averts the prosecution of the corrupt Heads of organizations or governments leaders even when they no longer serve in the same offices.
Violence is also yet another feature found in organized crime. The involvement of an individual or group in compound criminal enterprises is punishable, yet how many criminal justice prosecutions of this nature successfully see the culprit punished? Another feature is presence of virtual resistance to prosecutions in matters where evidence is not forth coming despite thorough search for evidence, offender may never be punished, (Wells, C. , 2001). Intimidation is a feature of organized crime in which people are threatened from practicing legal business by gangs.
The government leaders may also be forced to compromise on some lawful procedures by gangs, in the name of security provision. This leads to unexpected performance of organized crime within the country. These compromises arise especially when public leaders try to solve intra- and inter-gang disputes and minimize fear of conflict within the society, (Morrison, S. , 2002). Membership in organized crime gangs is limited to distinct features like ethnicity, crime association and common interest in crime. These groups do not have free entry and exit. They are more long lived than their original members.
Organized crimes get support from some skilled specialist. For instance, accountants, pilots, drivers, chemists, arsonists, lawyers, hijackers, cargo shipment officers and shooters encourage organized crime. If a shipment officer notices that they are transporting illegal goods they know that they would benefit from the bribe and therefore they do not disclose this property. This is illegal and punishable before the court of law but who reports it when offered large sums of money for protection. Thus organized crime is not easily controlled without strict law enforcement officers.
Also organized criminals receive some degree of social support when they meet corporate business stakeholders and key public policy makers in social gatherings. Their regular social meetings help them to be protected by the public officers in times of crisis. Corrupt leaders protect criminal gangs. Attorneys, government leaders, and prominent business persons abuse their status in public protection by protection organized crime. Any corrupt leader is simply a partisan in organized crime by offering protection of whatever kind to crime, (Braithwaite, J. , 1984).
Trade monopolization cultivates the formation of breeding ground for organized crime. A criminal gang that is concerned with organized trade operates in monopolized ways so that they provide certain legally accepted trade and include their illegal operations within their authorized monopolized trade. Disorder in the society in most cases results from organized crime gangs. During public rallies the society may face difficulties especially when rivals object to the views of each other. Fights may crop out in such occasions. Some times bombs have maliciously been set at public places targeting different groups of people.
Common groups engaging in organized crime, that causes occasional deaths and bloodshed in different parts of the world, is the al-Qaeda and Taliban gangs of Afghanistan. These groups try to cause instability in stable economies like the U. S. and other parts of the world. However, it is unfortunate for them since the U. S and allies have set out war traps against terrorism and drug trafficking which are associated with organized crime. The 9/11 bombing in the U. S was not a pleasant occasion to any sensible person in the world. It is this event that has made the union of the world’s trade giants in antiterrorism war as well as antinarcotics.
Criminal justice has found a number of aspects that are associated and help in the definition of organized crime. These aspects allow the commission to investigate organized crime through the defined lines. For example, the Fitzgerald inquiry feels that organized crime is associated with remote forms of misconduct. It is believed that immediate crimes are only performed by persons other than the boss. Whenever investigations indicate that a certain type of crime involves conspiracy and it has been committed by a remote person other than the boss, then this is organized crime.
When crime is planned and proofs to be a long term project whose complexity is not easily established it is categorized as organized crime. Illegal commercial activities performed for which legal regulations from the authority has not been sought fall in the category of organized crime, (Simpson, S. S. , 2002). Common cases of organized crimes are counterfeited, money laundering, prostitutions, alien smuggling, illegal drug trafficking, proliferation of fire arms, illegal waste dumping, cross border car theft gangs, theft with violence and financial fraud among others.
The United States has redefined organized crime as any unlawful activity performed by highly organized and disciplined associations in which they may be involved in commercial activity that is not authorized. This is stated in the “Omnibus Crime Control and Safety Street Act of 1968” as enacted by the U. S congress. Activities such as labor racketeering, loan sharking, smuggling, kidnapping, murder, arson, burglary, gambling and narcotics are inclusive of illegal business. Globalization is a key contributor of organized crime. Different persons are taking advantage of free trade and the ability to cross borders without more restrictions.
In this connection organized crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, illegal trade in fire arms, terrorism and unprecedented murder, are currently very common in the contemporary society, (Ermann, et. al. 2002). In Australia organized crime is higher than in the U. S. Most of the recent cases of organized crime like the mistreatment of Indian students in Australia are inhuman. In Melbourne some students were stubbed, others robbed and assaulted yet the criminal justice system in Australia could not offer appropriate assistance on this cases. The circulation of fake currency notes in Australia is on a rise.
More over, contracts of gun shot killings are still alarming. In June 2007, a man shot two men who had come to the help a women he had been dragging from his car. He also shot the woman the made his escape and dropped his gun and jacket at a nearby building. However, after the escape, an emergency action was taken to safeguard the lives of the shot victims by taking them to Melbourne hospital. Nevertheless, the man who shot these people was arrested and later pleaded guilty of the crime in May 2008. This is a long time for such a suspect to be prosecuted. There is need for faster solutions within the judicial system in Australia.
At a different incidence, in February 2005, Tania Herman strangled Korp, Maria and left unmanned in her car for four days until she was discovered. The lady was in coma when she was taken to hospital for emergency treatment. She died after six months in hospital. The accused made accusations to the victim’s husband for ordering the murder. Tania was Maria’s husband’s mistress. However, before her death, the husband had already pleaded not guilty of attempted murder and his case awaited an upgrade to murder. All the same, he committed murder during his wife’s burial. Tania was jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty of attempted murder.
Recent cases of illegal drug dealing in Australia include Dennis Allen and Tony Mokbel based in Melbourne. Another case on drugs involves Terry Clark, a drug syndicate boss, born in New Zealand. The problem with coming up with the solution to this crimes is that the organizers are protected by the fact that they are authoritative or collude with corrupt political leaders such that they are barred from the relevant prosecutions. This kind of protection shall always undermine the role of criminal justice system in offering quick and effective solutions to organized crime, (Clinard, M. B. & Yeager, P. C. , 2005).
In addition, to this there are a number of cases of contract killing that are reported to the justice system after occurrence. This rather contradicts the ability of the criminal justice system to control organized crimes. It would be better if contract killing were detected before occurrence. It is recommendable for the criminal justice system to install sufficient legal instruments to deal with OC. There is also need for specialized training for criminal justice officers and the society to be able to fight cybercrime, which has come along with globalization and information technology development, (Castells, M.1996).
It is also necessary that the criminal justice system establishes a quick to respond organizational structure for correcting crimes. OC can further be controlled by proper coordination among different security agencies within the government and the United Nations union among others. In other words, there is need for high intelligent detective system for organized crime control. In fact, with corrupt leaders, it is almost impossible to control organized crime. This is because in most cases, many organized crime cases are only discovered after occurrence.
The criminal justice system can do some thing about it. Some of the cases can be controlled through community policing, instituting of a perfect criminal investigation systems within companies and the port authorities as well as the institution of strong controls on cross border trade, (Peear, J. , 1996). When the immigration system is fully supported by offering enough funding for the employment of more staff a number of problems associated with the port system will be reduced, (Gobert, J. & Punch, M. , 2003). In general, it is undisputable that the criminal justice system may not fully control organized crime.
It has therefore resulted in the amelioration of the most severe effects organized crime causes to the society. The only way to reduce the effect of OC is by ensuring perfect law enforcement in all security departments to be able to detect OC before its occurrence. Furthermore, the criminal justice system has resulted to giving more severe punishment to organizers of crime. This does not include all the cases. It is recommended that corporate crimes and crime related to money laundering, human trafficking and drug trafficking receive more severe punishment so as to deter its propagation.
Criminalization of organized crime to a level that will affect both the organizer and the offender is required. The organizer should in return be subjected to more severe punishments and penalties. Therefore organized crime can be regulated under civil law which incorporates the use of both administrative law and criminal law to reduce the far reaching implications associated with it. Finally, it is worth noting that organized crime may never be curtailed without well designed governing principles for eradicating corrupt leaders from authority. References Braithwaite, J. (1984).
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