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Crime: Its Cause and Treatment

Crime: Its Cause and Treatment by Clarence Darrow
By: (1857-1938)

Clarence Darrow was an American lawyer. He remains notable for his wit and agnosticism, which marked him as one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians.

In this book, Darrow expands on his lifelong contention that psychological, physical, and environmental influences—not a conscious choice between right and wrong—control human behavior. To my ears (the reader's), the author has a rather simplistic behaviourist view of human behaviour, but he argues his position with wonderful clarity. Darrow is coherently critical of conspiracy laws, of the creation of laws by the powerful (and consequently the definition of "crime" by that group) .... and his views on the machinery of "justice" and on how criminals are treated are still very relevant.

First Page:







This book comes from the reflections and experience of more than forty years spent in court. Aside from the practice of my profession, the topics I have treated are such as have always held my interest and inspired a taste for books that discuss the human machine with its manifestations and the causes of its varied activity. I have endeavored to present the latest scientific thought and investigation bearing upon the question of human conduct. I do not pretend to be an original investigator, nor an authority on biology, psychology or philosophy. I have simply been a student giving the subject such attention as I could during a fairly busy life. No doubt some of the scientific conclusions stated are still debatable and may finally be rejected. The scientific mind holds opinions tentatively and is always ready to reexamine, modify or discard as new evidence comes to light.

Naturally in a book of this sort there are many references to the human mind and its activities... Continue reading book >>

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