From the first incident of petty theft to modern media piracy, crime and punishment have been a part of every society. However, the structure and values of a particular society shape both the incidences of crime and the punishment of criminals. When the United States became an independent nation, politicians and civilians began the process of deciding which systems of punishment were appropriate for dealing with a process that continues to this day. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN AMERICA examines the development of crime and punishment in the United States from the criminal justice practices of American Indians and the influence of colonists to the mistreatment of slaves, as well as such current criminal issues as the response to international terrorism.
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