Contemporary thieves in Poland - their crime and punishment
Współcześni złodzieje w Polsce - ich przestępstwa i karanie
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Theft is one of the oldest and clearly condemned crime in history. It takes a significant part in the crime structure in Poland. Nevertheless, it seems to be a forgotten and uninteresting subject among modern criminological research. In public opinion, theft invariably causes indignation,and the way of punishing thieves is a field of interest for both public opinion and politicians.In Poland, theft is an offence that can either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a crime –it depends on the value of the property stolen. Therefore, legal penalties for crime related to theft may vary considerably. It is precisely this line between misdemeanor and crime that is currently being discussed in Poland. To talk about changes concerning the punishment of thieves,one should first check what is the current state of the criminal policy in this regard. Therefore, I want to present the results of the research, which I carried out at the Institute of Justice in 2017.I examined randomly selected court files of two above mention categories of theft, which ended validly and in which the enforcement proceedings ended in 2016. The research was conducted on 420 cases (including 233 misdemeanor and 187 crime cases). On the basis of the collected material emerges the image of the criminal policy against thieves who stood before the court,which gives the opportunity to consider whether and what changes in the law can be predicted against the perpetrators of the simple theft.
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