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The Economics of Crime by Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi

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CHAPTER 7

Crimes Against Persons

The scariest crimes for most people are those against persons, so-called violent crime. These fall into three general categories: murder, rape (encompassing all forms of sexual assault including those against children), and assault. Our most severe penalties are reserved for perpetrators of such offenses. Even though violent crime in the United States has been on the decline for many years, we still have a perception we are not safe.

Contrary to the perception of murder and rape as crimes that occur at random, these crimes of violence often are committed by acquaintances or family members. A common factor is the need to be physically close to the victim. While a house can be burglarized when no one is present, ...

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