organized crime

This week’s discussion will pick up on the topic of organized crime.

  • Some crime families have strict membership requirements, along ethnic lines. Is this something that is common among organized crime organizations, or is this just an Italian/Sicilian thing? Why would a criminal organization have such a strict rule about the ethnicity of its full members in the first place?
  • It’s not uncommon that a legitimate business will also facilitate criminal activity. For instance, consider a motel that charges by the hour, or an adult “book store” with private booths in the back. Is there a place in society for these kinds of businesses, or should the government use tools like civil forfeiture to shut them down? Explain your reasoning.
  • Undercover law enforcement officers investigating organized crime groups run the risk of being put in a position where they are expected to engage in illegal behavior in order to maintain their cover. Is there a problem with a law enforcement officer possibly breaking the law in order to maintain his or her cover? It would not be out of the ordinary for a motorcycle gang member to participate in a fight with a rival gang. Should an undercover officer jump into the fight and actually assault a member of the rival gang so that he is not suspected as an outsider? Discuss what limits, if any, you would impose.
 
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