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According to a report from the Huffington Post on April 26, 2016, a French court found Dutch dentist Jacobus Van Nierop guilty of fraud and assault and sentenced him to eight years in jail. The majority of the complaints claimed that he tortured his patients by pulling out their healthy teeth and leaving drill bits in their gums and teeth, which led to recurring infections, misshapen mouths, and abscesses. Additionally, it was claimed that his actions left the complainants permanently disabled in addition to being mutilating. He also overcharged is patients for the procedures and in other circumstances billed them for others he had not even performed.
The trial revealed that the dentist was operating in France illegally because he relied on false dentistry documents and hid information about the disciplinary proceedings he was subject to in his home State. The suits were instituted by his patients, local security agencies, and health insurance companies and judges convicted him for 61 counts of fraud and 45 counts of mutilation. Judges in a 130 page ruling imposed a fine of $12000and acquitted him a few counts of fraud and 6 counts of assault. Court documents also revealed that the dentist could be insolvent since he had debts exceeding has assets. Before being detained in France from 2015, he illegally entered Canada by defying court orders and stayed beyond the stipulated time in 2013. His stayed never lasted because he was extradited to Netherlands as per court orders and later deported back to France where he was held in custody.
During trail, the dentist’s lawyer acknowledged that the dentists had carried out bad procedures, however, he lacked the intent or premeditation to inflict harm or violence to his patients. The prosecutor was of the stand that the dentist was greedy, indifferent and found happiness in making others suffer. Psychiatric experts were of the opinion that his behavior showed a lack of moral sense and a narcissistic pervert character. This could be argued true because during trial, the dentist said that he had no more feelings and apologizing to his patients would be a lie.
Based on sociological perspectives of criminology, the dentist’s commission of the crime may be explained under the strain theory, which argues that a person may commit a crime due to societal pressures on them to achieve goals that are socially acceptable despite the fact that they lack the means. In this particular case, it is evident that the doctor was facing disciplinary proceedings and therefore lacked the required documentation to practice. Therefore, he may have been under pressure from the society due to the perceptions that other people would have about him if he stopped practicing or the pains and frictions he faced after his practicing documentation was revoked. According to Merton’s theory, individuals faced with gaps such as financial constraints or lack of licenses between their life goals, the strain occurs leading to commission of crimes (Schmalleger, 2008).
The sentencing of “Black Hitler” to 7 years imprisonment for attacking a prostitute
Similarly, this was yet another publicized criminal act published in the New York Daily News on April 26, 2016 of a man labeled the “black Hitler” convicted of attacking a prostitute. 56 year old Sherman Gamble was also convicted for assault, promotion of prostitution and endangering the life of his grandson. He was however acquitted of strangulation, rape and sex trafficking after the trial. Mr. Gamble’s conviction precedes a 3 year imprisonment offer by the Manhattan assistant district attorney if he admitted to the charges of promoting prostitution and assault after his arrest, which he refused on grounds that the charged were fabricated and there was no credible witnesses to prove the charges.
Mr. Gamble was described as vicious and cruel during trail because despite the overwhelming evidence against him, he completely denied the charges insisting that he was a family person. Testimony of a 24 year old lady revealed that she was lured into the business due to the guaranteed comfortable life which she enjoyed but soon afterwards it became violent and highly controlled by Mr. Gamble. The alleged prostitute who was attacked claimed she was his grandson’s nanny and that she had been threated.
This particular crime may be analyzed based on the labeling theory especially due to the label of “black Hitler” possessed by Mr. Gamble. According to this theory, people often behave in ways that tend to reflect how they are labeled in society. This theory is premised on the notion of social construction and is closely linked and associated with the notion of symbolistic interactionist (Helfgott, 2008). It is a theory that explains deviant behavior and helps one understand criminal behavior. In most circumstances defiant behavior is defined based on societal labeling especially by the dominant groups. In this case, Hitler was one of was a dictator and military leader who had control over his arm and the Nazi in Germany. As such, the label “black Hitler” shows that Mr. Gamble had identifies himself as a controlling man which manifested itself from his attitude and behavior towards the prostitute and the other women he introduced to the activity.
The sentencing of a man to 18 months imprisonment for beating his wife
As published in the guardian on April 7, 2017, 34 year old Mustafa Bashir was charged with assault after beating his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to consume bleach. During a dispute over him travelling to Netherlands on a tour, he forced her to take tablets and drink the bleach so that it appeared to be a suicide He was resentenced by the court since he has, at an earlier trail, avoided jail by claiming that he had a job offer to be a professional cricketer, a claim that turned out to be false. Bashir admitted to the charge of assault, damaging property and usage of a destructive substance and his18months sentence was suspended for 2 years based on the information he submitted to court about a contract with Leicestershire County Cricket Club. He was instead ordered by the court to attend a compulsory workshop where he would pay £1000 and prohibited from contacting the victim.
Soon after more information was made available to the court, the case was reviewed. The cricket club provided information that the information was false and that they were happy to assist the court meet the ends of justice for the woman who was assaulted. During trial, the argument that the victim was not vulnerable and that she was merely trapped in a relationship in which she lacked control was one of the saddening ideologies especially concerning the prevalence of violence against women. Expert opinion proved that domestic violence is regardless a woman’s level of education, job of number of relatives and friends but rather a devastating crime that results in long term trauma and psychological distress. The review of the case and the alteration of the orders was justified based on the court’s power to alter sentence after new evidence is made available within 56 days of the previous sentence.
In this particular scenario, the criminal acts of Bashir may be lined with the deviance and control theory as well as the strain theory. In the recent times, it is a cultural norm that violence against women is against moral values and therefore Bashir beating up his wife and forcing her to take bleach breaks the law and a norm (Helfgott,, 2008). It may also be argued that the crime was as a result of weak societal ties and the lack of social control according to the social disorganization theory. This is because Bashir hoped to escape imprisonment by lying to the court that he was offered a contract to be a professional cricketer and as therefore imprisonment would deny him that opportunity yet he admitted that he had assaulted his wife. It is also possible that his crimes were as a result of strains and stresses caused by stressful living conditions such as deprivation.
Helfgott, J. B. (2008). Criminal behavior: Theories, typologies and criminal justice. Los Angeles
Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminology Today: An Integrative Introduction + Criminology Interactive Dvd (5th ed.). Prentice Hall.
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