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Criminalité et conditions économiques

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II.

W. D. MORRISON.

La préface de „Crime and its causes" contient déja un abrégé de 1'opinion de 1'auteur sur 1'influence des conditions économiques. II y dit: „Economie prosperity, however widely diftuscd, will not extinguish crime. Many people imagine that all the evils afflicting society spring from want, but this is only partially true. A small number of crimes are probably due to sheer lack of food, but it has to be borne in mind that crime would stil] remain an evil of enormous magnitude even if there were no such calamities as destitution and distress. As a matter of fact easy circumstances have less influence on conduct than is generally believcd; prosperity generate criminal inclinations as well as adversity, and 011 the whole the rich are just as much addicted to crime as the poor." ')

Le chapitre „Climate and crime" contient quelques observations qui sont intéressantes pour notre sujet. En parlant des grands chiffres des crimes contre les personnes en Italië, 1'auteur dit: „Nor can it be said to be entirely due to economie distress. A condition of social misery has undoubtedly something to do vvith the production of crime. In countries where there is much wealth side by side with much misery, as in Erance and England, adverse social circumstances drive a certain portion of the community into criminal courses. But where this great inequality of social conditions does not exist—where all are poor as in Ireland or Italy—poverty alone is not a weighty factor in ordinary crime. In Ireland, for example, there is almost as much poverty as exists in Italy, and if the amount of crime were determined by economie circumstances alone, Ireland ought to have as black a record as her southern sister. Instead of that she is on the whole as free from crime as the most prosperous countries of Europe." '-)

— Cette citation est un des meilleurs échantillons de la logique et de la connaissance des faits de M. Morrison!

L'Italie est pauvre; 1'Irlande est pauvre; le premier pays compte beaucoup de crimes, le dernier en a peu. Par conséquent: les conditions économiques ne sont pas un facteur important. Pour ne pas parler de la prudence qu'il faut observer en comparant deux pays oü loi pénale,

1) p. 6.

2) P- 37•