Peled-Laskov, Ronit, and Efrat Shoham. “A Three-Dimensional Perspective on Wrongful Convictions in Israel: Organizational-Forensic, Psychosocial and Practical.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociology 4 (2015): 154-65.
It is difficult to find an injustice committed against the citizen by the state that is greater than the conviction of an innocent person. At this stage, it may be tentatively stated that the phenomenon is not insignificant. This theoretical article describes the various aspects of the criminal justice system associated with the undesirable outcome of wrongful convictions. The paper reviews a series of organizational and forensic aspects that could bring about a bias in investigation of the legal truth. Furthermore, a number of psychosocial aspects relating to wrongful convictions, followed by practical aspects are described and discussed. It appears that on the practical level the phenomenon cries out for changes in the law enforcement system (e.g. implementation of the US Innocence Project or the biometric databank) and the need for empirical investigation. It appears that there is still a long way to go before a full understanding can be obtained of wrongful convictions and their prevention. One way or another, the authors are of the opinion that greater academic and public importance should be assigned to the question of wrongful convictions and perhaps turn the issue of truth and falsehood in criminal law into a theoretical and research field in its own right.
Gueta, Keren, and Gila Chen. “‘I Wanted to Rebel, But There They Hit Me Even Harder’: Discourse Analysis of Israeli Women Offenders’ Accounts of Their Pathways to Substance Abuse and Crime.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (early view; online first).
This study examined women offenders’ accounts of their pathways to substance abuse and crime and the intersection between them, to reach a holistic understanding that captures the dynamics of victimization, agency, and gender. Discourse analyses of the accounts of 11 Israeli women offenders indicated differential use of two discourses. Five participants used the victimization discourse, which viewed substance abuse as an attempt to medicate the self that was injured following victimization experiences; two used the agency discourse, which viewed substance abuse as a way to experience pleasure, leisure, and control over their destiny. Four of the participants used these two contradictory discourses simultaneously. The findings indicate the absence of a cultural discourse that encompasses women’s complex experience of gender, victimization, and agency. Possible implications for intervention are discussed.
Chen, Gila, and Tomer Einat. “To Punish or Not to Punish—That Is the Question. Attitudes of Criminology and Criminal Justice Students in Israel Toward Punishment.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (early view; online first).
Attitudes toward punishment have long been of interest to policymakers, researchers, and criminal justice practitioners. The current study examined the relationship between academic education in criminology and attitudes toward punishment among 477 undergraduate students in three subgroups: police officers, correctional officers, and criminology students who were not employed by the criminal justice system (CJS). Our main findings concluded that (a) punitive attitudes of the correctional officers and police officers at the beginning of their academic studies were harsher than those of the criminology and criminal justice students who were not employed by the CJS, (b) punitive attitudes of the correctional officers at the end of their academic studies were less severe than their first-year counterparts, (c) fear of crime was higher among women than among men, and (d) the strongest predictor of punitive attitudes was a firm belief in the principles of the classical and labeling theories (beyond group). Implications of these results are discussed.
Ariel Merari purports to demonstrate a tendency on the part of suicide bombers to be motivated by depression and suicidal tendencies. However, he misconstrues the present authors’ critique of his work and misinterprets their research. By clarifying both issues, this article seeks to substantiate three claims: (1) Merari’s sampling procedure precludes generalization; (2) interviewer and contextual effects probably bias his findings; (3) evidence challenges his inferences.