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This week you will be creating and submitting a draft of your Final Research Paper that is based on the topic you selected from the Research Paper Guidelines Preview the document and from the Final Research Paper Outline from Week Two. Please be sure to review the Model Research Paper Draft Preview the document View in a new window and Week Three Assignment Template Preview the document View in a new window to understand the expectations for the assignment this week.

The Final Research Paper Draft must contain the following components:

A title page and a reference page (based upon your annotated bibliography).
An introduction that features a thesis statement that is clearly articulated and argumentative and/or analytical. Ideally, the introduction should be a single, compelling paragraph.
Body paragraphs that develop at least one research-supported argument. (Note: The body of your paper should feature in-text citations that leverage at least four different sources.)
APA-style formatting, including properly documented citations.
Your draft must be 750 to 2,000 words in length, excluding the title and reference pages. Remember to proofread your work for errors in grammar, mechanics, style, and formatting. Submit as much work as possible, whether it is a full or partial draft. Please refer to Research Paper Guidelines Preview the document as well as Week Five Final Research Paper instructions.

The purpose of the Final Research Paper Draft is to ensure you are making satisfactory progress on your Final Research Paper while providing you with an opportunity to receive direction and feedback from your instructor. If you find that you are struggling to complete the draft, make sure that you have read and reviewed this week’s required activities. Additionally, consider contacting your instructor for additional one-on-one guidance.

Submission Information: Complete the task above and save the document as a Microsoft Word or PDF file. Submit your assignment via the Assignment Submission button. Please use a naming convention for your assignment file that includes your last name, the week number, and the assignment number. So, your Final Research Paper Draft assignment should bear a file name that looks like smithENG122w3.doc or smithENG122w3.pdf.

Answer

The Impact of Sentencing Regulations for White vs. Blue Collar Crimes

Introduction

The difference between white and blue-collar crimes can considerably affect all phases of a felony, from apprehension to trial. It is important to distinguish between the two crimes for law enforcement and criminology in trying to come up with initiatives to avert crime and for the public to comprehend how criminals work. White-collar crimes take several forms and concern diverse subject matters: corruption, acquiring property using fraudulent means, impersonation, and forgery. Blue-collar crimes include all types of violent crimes; physical attack, robbery, aggravated burglary and murder. The sentencing regulation on white-collar crimes as they currently are, encourage more people to engage in criminal activity since the punishment meted is outweighed by the gains that the criminals make. Even though blue-collar crimes are more violent than white-collar crimes, white-collar crimes should be sentenced fairly as blue-collar crimes. My paper intends to address the impacts sentencing regulations have on white and blue-collar crimes.

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Literature Review

 Both crimes impact on society socially and economically, severely distressing the well-being of the offended, criminal, and communities. The monetary costs of offenses are substantial and controlling the ‘Criminal Justice System’ is expensive. The policymakers and the public have recognized the inadequacy of the laws and have thus driven the process of the law reforms. However, they are still inadequate in addressing the shortcomings of sentencing regulations for white-collar crime compared to blue-collar crimes. The currently prevailing mandatory court-ordered restitutions for white-collar crimes are ineffective because the mechanisms for enforcing the restitution judgments are at the moment still imperfect (Faichney, 2014). For example, the ‘White-Collar Crime Penalty Enhancement Act 2002’ (WCCPA) that led to the sharp increase in the penalties meted for white-collar crimes doesn’t address the current transformations of the offense in the business sector. As a result of the above shortcomings, most states have tried to come up with law reforms regarding sentencing white-collar criminals.  However, the rules remain inadequate in addressing the crime due to the weak implementation mechanisms as well as the dynamic nature of white-collar crimes. Despite the reforms, the laws are still insufficient. The weaknesses of the law demonstrate the need for improvements to make the sentencing appropriate for the offenses committed.

Bennet, Levinson and Hioki, 2016 argue that the existing laws guiding the conviction of the persons who commit white-collar crimes are less punitive compared to those blue-collar sentencing crimes, thus leading to recidivism and emergent new criminals (Bannett, Levinson, & Hioki, 2016). On the other hand, Clark 2009 argues that most times hardened criminals of white-collar crimes are given minimum sentencing reducing the gravity of the case and punishment. Due to the nature of punishments given to criminals of white-collar jobs most criminals feel comfortable committing white-collar crimes (Clark, 2009). These penalties make white-collar crimes look less dangerous as compared to blue-collar crimes that receive maximum sentencing hence encourages people to commit white-collar crimes.

According to Visser 2003, in sentencing white-collar criminals the judge is concerned with the harm caused to victims and thus wants to minimize the damage by ensuring that they are repaid their money. Visser also notes that severe punishment meted on the criminals as an option for not repaying the money (Visser, 2003). From the arguments above, the current law reforms mainly focus on restitution as opposed to punishment. Following complaints from the public and the policymakers of the inadequacy of the law, there have been reforms that now ensure stiff penalties for offenders based on the harm that they have caused. Reforms have also encompassed the prompt redressing of the victims. The punishment is thus aimed at efficiently and effectively minimizing the harm caused to victims. This viewpoint addresses the plight of the criminals as well as the restitution of the offended. The reforms may appear right from the onset. However, the will to implement such punitive laws lacks. Most times, gathering enough evidence to prosecute the criminals has been a major problem leading to the acquittal of actual criminals. Mechanisms should be devised to address the implementation mechanisms of the new laws regarding white-collar crimes.

Recommendations

Due to the failure of legal systems to adequately address the gravity of white-collar crimes to match the blue-collar crimes, Akula’s advice to managers will be vital to ensure the white-collar crime rate goes down. Akula proposes three principal areas of accountability: the corporation, the manager and the board (Akula, 2000). This approach is necessary since it provides ways of avoiding handling white-collar crimes from the manager’s perspective. The manager is focused upon because the office is the one responsible for the day to day activities of any given business.

Much as we agree with the present outline of what the jury must consider when sentencing criminals of white-collar crimes, the sentences some crimes look too lenient compared to those of burglary, physical harm, or tax evasion. My recommendation is that sentences for such offenses should be severe to scare criminals from indulging in them. Such sentencing should be commensurate with the social and economic impact caused by the crime.

Conclusion

The current sentencing regulations reforms on white-collar crimes should be accompanied by mechanisms for implementation to ensure victims are compensated and the punishment discourages further criminal activities. Consequently, judges must make sure some issues are taken into account when passing sentence to offenders. The reforms adopted are excellent. However, there is a need to increase consistency to sentences passed down. Likewise, the duration an offender serves before qualifying for parole should be increased. To deter first offenders from repeating the crimes, they must be given harsher punishments, custodial or communal.  We also consider that the Government should be at the forefront in reforming the offenders and reintegrating them back into society. Currently, the judges should focus on giving sentences by law to discourage incidences of white-collar crimes. Punishments should also be commensurate with the crimes committed making white-collar crimes as grave as blue-collar crimes.

References

Akula, J. L. (2000). Business Crime: What to do When the Law Pursues You. Sloan Management Review, 41 (3), 29.

Bannett, M. W., Levinson, J. D., & Hioki, K. (2016). Judging Federal White-Collar Fraud Sentencing: An Empirical Study Revealing the Need for Further Reform. Iowa Law Review, 102.

Clark, C. (2009). Ottawa Promises, Again, to Toughen Punishment for White-Collar Crooks. The Globe Mail, Toronto. A.4, 1-3.

Faichney, D. (2014). Autocorrect: A Proposal to Encourage Voluntary Restitution through the White-collar Sentencing Calculus. J.Crim.L.& Criminology, 104 (2) , 389-430.

Visser, S. (2003). White-Collar Crimes Nets Little Jail Time: Repayment of $2 Million is DA’s Deal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. B.2, 1-3.

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