Week 10: social control in the new millennium


There are many subjects that spark vigorous debate and passionate following in American society. Abortion, capital punishment, and gun control have divided individuals and groups and caused dissent that often turns into inflammatory rhetoric. But what is about these topics that cause people to be so divided? Does the answer lie in rhetoric or in inquiry? Are the topics of capital punishment or gun control black and white?

Social Control

The U.S. criminal justice system has been forced to deal with increased demands for less governmental social control and an inability to continue to finance the punishments enacted over the last 40 years. The interesting criminal justice paradox is that conservatives who argue for less governmental oversight of the private sector seek greater levels of control for those who they deem have violated the social trust and committed any one of the eight index offenses. Liberals argue for the reverse. Perhaps no other issues strike more emotion than the implementation of the death penalty and gun control.

For this Discussion, you will examine the issues of both capital punishment and gun control in the United States. The Instructor will split the class into two groups.

Post by Day 3: Group A will debate capital punishment. Group B will debate gun control.

Group A: Explain whether the perception of the death penalty is changing. Support your argument.

Group B: Explain whether or not gun control is actually possible. Support your argument.

Respond by Day 5: You must engage in the online group discussion a minimum of three times, which includes a response to two of your colleagues.

Please keep the discussion civil!

Arguments should be based in factual research.


  • Jones M.,      & Johnstone, P. (2011). History      of Criminal Justice. (5th ed.) New York, NY. Routledge. 
    • Chapter       14, “Criminal Justice and Terrorism:  The Era of Homeland       Security”
  • Reiman,      J., & Leighton, P. (2017). The      rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal      justice (11th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. 
    • Chapter       2, “A Crime by Any Other Name …” (pp. 64-112)
    • Chapter       3, “… And the Poor Get Prison” (pp. 113-164)

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