Efficacy For Preventing Crime Criminology Essay

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Beccaria deeply affected by some critics, due to contemporary governmental misrules, inhumanity and tyranny, even the criminal justice also had no criterion resulting to a trial unfairness. He remarked out of personal feeling to write a book of "On Crimes and Punishment" and proposed some personal opinions about an expected criminal justice should have. He believed all people should have same treat while under the law, and they need to take responsibility of their behaviors. Besides that, punishment should have proportionate to a crime, which meant people commits a serious crime should take more criminal responsibility, otherwise, crime could not be prevented in a situation of serious crime with lenient punishment, because people would not afraid the criminal consequence, then it meant the deterrence of punishment might not play a role. On the contrary, minor crime with harsh punishment also was inhumanity, triggered to people disagree because sympathize to criminals.

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Moreover, he argued that the determinants of efficacy for preventing crime was depended on how certainty and celerity rather than severity (Wu, 2006, pp.37-39). Based on the three elements, Becarria (1764) proposed certain principles for further description: (1) The function of law is use to maintain social contract, (2) Only legislators can make the law, (3) Judge's decision must according to the law. (4) Judge should not explain law by their own way. (5) Punishment should build on the principle of pain and pleasure. (6) Punishment depends on the basis of damage degree to society. (7) Punishment should be celerity. (8) Everyone should have equal treatment on trial. (9) Abolish death penalty. (10) Prohibit extorting a confession by torture. (11) Prevent the crime rather than to punish the convicts (Q. Wang, 2011, p.19).

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Bentham was a legal philosopher and legal reformer at that time. He published a book "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation" in1781 and first time to put forward a concept of hedonism (Wu, 2006, pp.45-46). He believed the nature of people is to pursue happiness and avoid pain, because of this, people's behavior, thinking and expression in the same way are dominated by the two elements. Another concept of Utilitarianism, he deemed any laws and organizations should base on the principle of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, which means to maximize the happiness to most people rather than the pain. The purpose of law is such doing that to help for most people pursuing the greatest happiness by use the deterrence of punishment to prevent crimes, make the society securely.

Bentham argued that everything can increase happiness and reduce pain, in the criterion of moral, it would be defined as positive happiness; oppositely, it was negative happiness. On the other hand, people are rational and would use a felicific calculus to measure the consequence of a behavior, if the consequence would receive happiness, they would take the action; on the contrary, they would stop the behavior because they avoid the consequence would bring to a painful feeling.

Also, Bentham improved Beccaria's early argument of Proportionate Punishment to Crimes (罪刑相适应原则) in further, and proposed certain rules of calculation on the argument. He argued that the pain of punishment should exceed than the happiness of the crime. In addition, a greater offense of the crime should receive a greater punishment. He also argued that people have a freewill to do what they want and what they do not want, when a situation of happiness is exceed than pain, which may produce a motive power to drive them to do the behavior. He believed a criminal just as to pursue the happiness then commits the crime, nevertheless, the criminal behavior concurrently destroyed other people' happiness and resulted them in a pain, as a consequence, the behavior should be punished.

In the angle of Utilitarianism, he asserted punishment has the four purposes: (1) Prevent all the crime - this is extensive and the main purpose on of punishment. (2) Prevent the most serious crime - someone determines to commit the crime, the second purpose is to reduce the harmfulness as much as possible. If there are two ways can cause the same consequence and can be used by a criminal to commit a crime, he should use the less harmful way to commit it. (because he would receive the lighter punishment) (3) Reduce the harmfulness - someone decide to commit a crime, the third purpose is prevent a criminal would commit exceeding and unnecessary harmfulness over his criminal intent. (Criminal would only commit an expected degree of harmfulness of a crime) (4) Use a minimum cost to prevent crimes (Q. Wang, 2011, p.48).

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Bentham also emphasized the law should not punish in the following of four situations: (1) Groundless - the behavior is no harm to society, the punishment is unnecessary. (2) Inefficacious - the behavior could not use punishment to prevent. (3) Unprofitable or Cost is too expensive - the cost of punishment is exceed the cost of prevention. (4)Unnecessary - crime can prevent without punishment. Or if harm could automatically stop, then should adopt the above fourth purpose (minimum cost- such as sentence a fine or probation) to achieve the goal of prevent crime (Q. Wang, 2011, p.48).

Later on the period of modern version of classical school, the theorists criticized the ideas of positivist school were impracticable on prevention of crimes, may not effectively explain and reduce the crime. Afterwards, the idea of social defense was introduced, there are some theorists base on Beccaria's and Benthem's ideas and create two types of theories for preventing crimes:

General deterrence theory

The theorists believed that punishment to criminal can produce an effect of deterrence to the general population. They thought although people have rational thinking, they would consider the weight of happiness and pain, if pain is exceed happiness, then the behavior will not occur, but the case even need to calculate the external factors of celerity, certainty and severity. If the possibility of incarceration rate is very lower, then the deterrence may not effect (Certainty); if the suspect is arrested, but criminal process has to take a long time between the trial and the crime behavior, then will weaken the relevance of both, that simultaneously reduce the deterrence of crime (Celerity); if punishment is too lenient, people are not afraid it then crimes will also occur (Severity) (Q. Wong, 2011, pp.21-23).

Specific deterrence theory

The purpose of the theory is use a way to segregate (death penalty or imprisonment) the criminal from the general population for avoiding the criminal offends again, in exchange for the protection of public. In addition, the theorists believed that the criminal will respond fearfully under the sanction, subsequently he will not commit crime again after return to the society (Q. Wong, 2011, pp.23-24). For another purpose of this theory is to help the criminal rehabilitating their attitude for later return the society since the serving time in prison (Lin, 2009, pp.76-77).

In practical, legislators mainly focus on how to prevent general population would not commit criminal behaviors rather than how to rehabilitate the minority of criminals. Therefore, some harsh punishments (e.g. death penalty, life sentence) derived from the state and through cite some cases of criminal sanction to be as examples for deterrence to the general population, to reduce the possibility of commit the crimes by potential offenders.

Take Iran as example, the region still use hanging in public to announce population, refer to the report from international human rights non-governmental organization, the Iranian death rows involve with drug-offense accounted for 80% of 676 executions in 2011, it means there were 540 people has been executed because drug-offense, the number was fivefold than the year of 2008 and gradually increasing from year to year (Glanvill, 2012). For the reason of that, is it mean the severe punishment could not reach to the goal of deterrence to the public, or just as the theorists of general deterrence thought the three elements of celerity, certainty and severity should concurrently increase then the crime rate would drop down?

Theoretical framework

From the theories, the three external elements would affect to the criminal behavior, but how much degrees of effectiveness in the four regions of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao? Base on that, this research construct the following theoretical framework map by using severity, celerity, and certainty to explore how much degree of the three elements would affect to the incidence of drug trafficking case in the four regions?

Celerity

Certainty

Severity

Incidence of drug trafficking cases

A theoretical framework will be implemented on subsequent research.

Research questions

According to the situations on the four regions and combine above theories, the research will make some research questions to explore:

In practical, which region is the harshest punishment to the drug trafficking crimes and which region has the shortest time in criminal procedure? In addition, what is the ratio of suspect who found guilty or probation in the four regions?

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For some regions retained death penalty and life sentence in dealing with some serious drug-trafficking cases, how the incidence of drug trafficking case in the regions? Is severest punishment effective to control the crime?

What policies does Macao need to improve in fighting drug trafficking crime?

Chapter 3 - Methodology

This research will collect data from criminal judgments of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, by those data can acquire the degree of criminal punishment (severity), the time between arrest and court decision of first instance (celerity) and the data whether a suspect was sentenced to imprisonment / death penalty or probation / Training center order (certainty). In addition, through the comparative method find out which region has strength or weakness on each of elements.

Sampling

The research will use secondary data from local government websites, although the data has a highly authenticity, but the judgments are not abundant for online access. Base on the reason, the research will adopt nonprobability sampling to select the latest 100 judgments (involve in the cases of drug trafficking) as samples. For the regions of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the samples were selected from the date posted of 2012/1/1 to 2012/12/18, and for Macao, due to judgments are insufficient, therefore the samples were selected within the date of 2010/3/18 to 2012/12/18.

In China, samples access from the website of China Court and Shenzhen Baoan District People's Court, due to the judgments access from China Court are more concentrate in Central China, such as provinces of Szechwan, Henan or Hunan, therefore the judgments come from Shenzhen could be supplement the lack of South regions of China, it makes the samples more widely in order to avoid too much cases concentration in a region. In Taiwan, the samples access from ten District Courts of Taiwan, including the District Courts of New Taipei, Taipei, Shihlin, I lan, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung and Tainan. In Hong Kong, samples access from District Court of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; In Macao, samples access from Court of Second Instance of Macao Special Administrative Region.

From the contents of the judgments in the four regions, due to some suspects who committed more than one crime and one of the crimes were not relate to drug trafficking, another situation is one case involved more than one suspect and one of suspects committed other crimes that is not related to drug trafficking, hence, the samples only count for the crime of drug trafficking, drug manufacture, drug smuggling and drug transportation.

The samples collected from 100 judgments of each region and the numbers of sample respectively are: China is 155 suspects, Taiwan is 135 suspects, Hong Kong is 104 suspects and Macao is 113 suspects. The following table is shown the sources of the samples in each region:

Region

Source

Number of judgments

Number of suspects (sample)

China

People's Court of Szechwun

8

100

12

155

People's Court of Henan

8

15

People's Court of Chongqing

10

14

People's Court of Shaanxi

5

9

People's Court of Hunan

30

61

People's Court of Guangxi

14

19

People's Court of Guangdong

25

25

Taiwan

New Taipei district court

10

100

10

135

Taipei district court

10

11

Shihlin district court

10

13

I lan district court

10

14

Keelung district court

10

20

Taoyuan district court

10

13

Hsinchu district court

10

16

Miaoli district court

10

12

Taichung district court

10

14

Tainan district court

10

12

Hong Kong

District Court

100

104

Macao

Court of Second Instance

100

113

Table 3: Distribution table of the sample in the four regions

Chapter 4 - Research Result

Severity

China

The data collected from different regions of Chinese People's Courts, there are 100 criminal judgments have been found and involve 155 suspects, five of those suspects committed more than one crime and one of the crime is not relate to drug trafficking (e.g. crime of drug possession, crime of provide shelter for others to drug taking, robbery), therefore the samples will only count for the single criminal penalty in that situation. The following table shows the trial results of the suspects:

Severity in China

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Probation

0.6

0.6

2.

0.01-4.99 years

54.5

55.2

3.

5-9.99 years

28.6

83.8

4.

10-14.99 years

11.0

94.8

5.

15-15+ years

5.2

100.0

100.0

Mean:

2.6516

Mode:

2.00

S.D.:

0.87974

Table 4: Frequency distribution table for the Chinese suspects on the severity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 155 samples, and the trial result is integrated into seven scales from lenient punishment to the severest punishment. The result indicated most suspects were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment (Mode = 2, Valid percent = 54.5)

Figure 3: The figure is shown the trial results in China

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 155 Chinese suspects in trial results, the most three of sanction are: 85 suspects were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment, secondly, 44 suspects who were sentenced to five to less than ten years imprisonment, and 17 suspects were sentenced to ten to less than fifteen years imprisonment.

Taiwan

There are 138 suspects were found in 100 judgments from Taiwanese district courts, and three of suspects committed other drug related crimes(e.g. transfers drug to others, drug use), consequently, 135 suspects is left as samples in this section. The result is shown as following tables:

Severity in Taiwan

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Probation

4.4

4.4

2.

0.01-4.99 years

28.1

32.6

3.

5-9.99 years

38.5

71.1

4.

10-14.99 years

12.6

83.7

5.

15-15+ years

14.8

98.5

6.

Life sentence

1.5

100.0

100.0

Mean:

3.0963

Mode:

3.00

S.D.:

1.1452

Table 5: Frequency distribution table for the Taiwan suspects on the severity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 135 samples, and the result indicated most suspects were sentenced to five to less than ten years imprisonment (Mode = 3, Valid percent = 38.5)

Figure 4: The figure is shown the trial results in Taiwan

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 135 Taiwanese suspects in trial results, the most three of sanction are: 52 suspects were sentenced to five to less than ten years imprisonment, secondly, 38 suspects who were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment, and 20 suspects were sentenced to equal to or more than fifteen years imprisonment.

Hong Kong

There are 104 suspects were found in 100 judgments from District Court of Hong Kong, and none of the suspects only committed other drug related crime, therefore, 104 suspects will be samples in this section. The trial results of the suspects are shown as below:

Severity in Hong Kong

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Probation

1.9

1.9

2.

0.01-4.99 years

91.3

93.3

3.

5-9.99 years

6.7

100.0

100.0

Mean:

2.0481

Mode:

2.00

S.D.:

0.29162

Table 6: Frequency distribution table for the Hong Kong suspects on the severity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 104 samples, and the result indicated the majority of Hong Kong suspects were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment (Mode = 2, Valid percent = 91.3)

Figure 5: The figure is shown the trial results in Hong Kong

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 104 Hong Kong suspects in trial results, and there are only three categories found from the samples, the most sanction are: 95 suspects were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment, secondly, followed by 7 suspects who were sentenced to five to less than ten years imprisonment and 2 suspects were sentenced to training center order.

Macao

113 suspects were found in 100 judgments from Courts of Second Instance of Macao, as same as Hong Kong, all suspects involved in drug trafficking crime, hence, all of them will be samples in this section. The following table is shown the trial results:

Severity in Macao

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Probation

0.9

0.9

2.

0.01-4.99 years

16.8

17.7

3.

5-9.99 years

69.9

87.6

4.

10-14.99 years

12.4

100.0

100.0

Mean:

2.9381

Mode:

3.00

S.D.:

0.5714

Table 7: Frequency distribution table for the Macao suspects on the severity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 113 samples, and the result indicated the majority of the suspects were sentenced to five to less than ten years imprisonment (Mode = 3, Valid percent = 69.9)

Figure 6: The figure is shown the trial results in Hong Kong

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 113 Macao suspects in trial results, there are 79 suspects were sentenced to five years to less than ten years imprisonment, it accounts for a high share of criminal sanction, and followed by 19 suspects were sentenced to less than five years imprisonment and 14 suspects were sentenced to ten to less than fifteen years imprisonment.

Figure 7: Integration with the four regions on the severity section

The figure is integration with the results of the four regions in severity, it seems as Macao and Taiwan has more harsh punishment than the regions of China and Hong Kong. The samples of China and Hong Kong are more concentrate in criminal penalty of less than five years imprisonment, Macao samples concentrate in five to less than ten years imprisonment and Taiwan samples relatively are more scattered into the three scales of less than five years imprisonment, five to less than ten years imprisonment and more than fifteen years imprisonment.

In practice, from the samples of the regions, a case of a Chinese suspect trafficked 8.72 grams of ice and who was sentenced to four years imprisonment (approximately 1 gram with 5.5 months of prison term); another case of a Taiwan suspects trafficked 6.72 grams of ice and was sentenced to five years imprisonment (approximately 1 gram with 10.7 months of prison term); a Hong Kong case involved in 7.85 grams of ice trafficking and the suspects received three years imprisonment (approximately 1 gram with 4.6 months of prison term); and a Macao suspects who trafficked 8.801 grams of ice and was eventually imprisoned for five years (approximately 1 gram with 6.8 months of prison term).

The abovementioned crimes which would not be counted into the samples because the crime nature is not relate to the topic of drug trafficking crime, therefore, the trial result independently calculate for drug trafficking crime only. If a suspect has not committed a drug trafficking crimes but involved into the judgment, the suspects also would not count into valid samples. In China, five suspects were sentenced for various crimes (two suspects concurrently were sentenced crime of drug trafficking and drug possession; One suspect concurrently involved with robbery crime; One suspect concurrently involved with illegal gun possession; One suspects concurrently involved with crime of provide shelter for others to take drugs). In Taiwan, three suspects committed crime of transfer drug to others and have not committed drug trafficking crime at the same time, in addition, 52 suspects concurrently committed more than one crime (e.g. drug trafficking and drug possession, drug trafficking and drug use, drug trafficking and transfer drug to others). In Hong Kong samples, there are 3 suspects were charged by more than one crimes, such as drug trafficking crime and drug possession, and drug trafficking crime and possession equipment or apparatus for drug use. In Macao samples, 31 suspects were charged more than one crime, the crimes such as concurrently committed illegal entry, drug use, drug possession or illegal weapon possession (stun gun). Base on the suspects from the four regions who might be involved more than one crime or have not commit the crime of drug trafficking, so that the research just count for drug trafficking crime.

Overall, due to the result of comparison in severity without considering the nature of case in the samples, in addition, the trial results would be affected by aggravating or mitigating circumstance of crime (e.g. plead guilty, recidivism, continuing offence, weight of drugs, involve in violent behavior), therefore, the result of severity only can be a board picture of reflecting a practice results in the samples.

Celerity

The time is between a suspect who was arrest and until a trial of first instance. This part through the above judgments of each region to be collected the useful data (such as the date of police arrest suspects and the date of trial of first instance). On the other hand, the period of time will be integrated into twelve scales: 1. Less than 91 days; 2.91-180 days; 3. 181-270 days; 4. 271-360 days; 5. 361-450 days; 6. 451-540 days; 7. 541-630 days; 8. 631-720 days; 9. 721-810 days; 10. 811-900 days; 11. 901-990 days; 12. More than 990 days.

China

There are 155 samples will be used in this section. The below table is shown about the samples with the actual date between a suspect has been arrested and the trial result of first instance.

Celerity in China

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Less than 91 days

3.9

3.9

2.

91-180 days

42.6

46.5

3.

181-270 days

25.8

72.3

4.

271-360 days

14.2

86.5

5.

361-450 days

7.7

94.2

6.

451-540 days

5.8

100.0

100.0

Mean:

2.97

Mode:

2.00

S.D.:

1.251

Table 8: A distribution table for the Chinese samples on the celerity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 155 samples in celerity section, and the result indicated more than half of suspects need to take 91-270 days (approximate three to nine months) for a trial result from first instance court since who were arrested by police in early. (Valid percent 42.6% and 25.8%)

Figure 8: The figure is shown the time between arrest date and trial date in Chinese samples.

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 155 Chinese suspects that the day between arrest and trial. It indicated the most three of criminal process time are: 66 suspects are in 91-180 days, 40 suspects are in 181-270 days and 22 suspects are in 271-360 days.

Taiwan

There are 135 samples and without missing data. The below table is shown about the samples with the actual date between who has been arrested and the trial result of first instance.

Celerity in Taiwan

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

1.

Less than 91 days

1.5

1.5

2.

91-180 days

29.6

31.1

3.

181-270 days

26.7

57.8

4.

271-360 days

17.8

75.6

5.

361-450 days

5.2

80.7

6.

451-540 days

6.7

87.4

7.

541-630 days

5.2

92.6

8.

631-720 days

1.5

94.1

9.

721-810 days

0.7

94.8

10.

811-900 days

2.2

97.0

11.

901-990 days

1.5

98.5

12.

More than 990 days

1.5

100.0

100.0

Mean:

3.89

Mode:

2.00

S.D.:

2.301

Table 9: A distribution table for the Taiwanese samples on the celerity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 135 valid samples in celerity section, and the result indicated the period of 91-180 days (approximate three to six months, valid percent 29.6%) and the period of 181-270 days (approximate six to nine months, valid percent 26.7%) are often happen in a Taiwan criminal process time.

Figure 9: The figure is shown the time between arrest date and trial date in Taiwanese samples.

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 135 Taiwanese suspects that the day between arrest and trial. It indicated the most three of criminal process time are: 40 suspects are in 91-180 days, 36 suspects are in 181-270 days and 24 suspects are in 271-360 days.

Hong Kong

There are 104 samples and 12 samples with missing data (the judgment has not mentioned the arrest date), which means remain 92 as valid samples in this section. The below table is shown about the samples with the actual number of days between who has been arrested and the trial result of first instance.

Celerity in Hong Kong

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

2.

91-180 days

92.4

92.4

3.

181-270 days

7.6

100.0

100.0

Mean:

2.08

Mode:

2.00

S.D.:

0.267

Table 10: A distribution table for the Chinese samples on the celerity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 92 valid samples in celerity section, and the result indicated most of the suspects need to take 91-180 days (approximate three to six months) for a trial result from first instance court since who were arrested by police in early. (Mode = 2, Valid percent = 92.4)

Figure 10: The figure is shown the time between arrest date and trial date in Hong Kong samples.

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 92 Hong Kong suspects that the day between arrest and trial. It indicated a high proportion of criminal processing time that needs to take 91-180 days, followed by 181-270 days.

Macao

113 suspects were found in the 100 Macao judgments, and there are 26 samples with missing date (missing arrest date or trial date), which means 87 suspects will be valid samples in this section. The below table is shown about the samples with the actual date between who has been arrested and the trial result of first instance.

Celerity in Macao

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

3.

181-270 days

9.2

9.2

4.

271-360 days

31.0

40.2

5.

361-450 days

18.4

58.6

6.

451-540 days

18.4

77.0

7.

541-630 days

10.3

87.4

8.

631-720 days

9.2

96.6

9.

721-810 days

1.1

97.7

12.

More than 990 days

2.3

100.0

100.0

Mean:

5.38

Mode:

4.00

S.D.:

1.819

Table 11: A distribution table for the Chinese samples on the celerity section

The table is shown the distribution of those 87 valid samples in celerity section, and the result indicated about one third of the suspects need to take 271-360 days (approximate nine months to one year) for a trial result from first instance court since who were arrested by police in early. (Mode = 4, Valid percent = 31.0)

Figure 11: The figure is shown the time between arrest date and trial date in Macao samples.

The figure is shown the frequency distribution of the 87 Macao suspects that the day between arrest and trial. It indicated the most three of criminal process time are: 27 suspects are in 271-360 days, 16 suspects are in 361-450 days and 16 suspects are in 451-540 days.

Figure 12: Integration with the four regions on the celerity section

The figure reflected Hong Kong (=2.08, S.D.=0.267) and China (=2.97, S.D.=1.251) has more swift response in criminal process time. Taiwan (=3.89, S.D.=2.301) should be placed in third and Macao (=5.38, S.D.=1.819) relatively needs to take more time during a criminal process.

In the research samples, a Chinese suspect was sentenced five years imprisonment by trafficking in methamphetamine (ice), the criminal process time needs to take 220 days (seven months and more); a Taiwanese suspect was sentenced five years imprisonment by trafficking in ice, the time needs to take 292 days (close to ten months); a Hong Kong suspect was sentenced five years and three months imprisonment by trafficking in heroin, the time needs to take 158 days (five months and more); a Macao suspects was sentenced five years imprisonment by trafficking in cocaine, it needs to take 351 days (eleven months and more).

Certainty

This section discovered that most suspects were found guilty. The table is shown about the situation of each region:

Region

Total suspects

Guilty

Probation / Training center order

China

155

154 (99.4%)

1 (0.6%)

Taiwan

135

129 (95.6%)

6 (4.4%)

Hong Kong

104

102 (98.1%)

2 (1.9%)

Macao

113

112 (99.1%)

1 (0.9%)

Table 12: The table is shown the ratio of incarceration rate or death penalty and other court decision without imprison on the certainty section

The high level of certainty because all cases that submitted to the Courts which must have already been gone over by procurator organs and has a high level of conviction rates because sufficient proofs, otherwise, the case would be placed on file in procurator organs if no reasonable evidence. Therefore, the result only can reflect to the samples while the cases are submitted to the court for a trial.

From research sample, in China, there is one case of a female suspect who were given to probation, due to the role of the person in the case is accessary criminal and the case involved in a small amount of ice (0.4 grams), therefore the two of principal criminals were sentenced to three years imprisonment and the suspect was relatively lenient punishment and with probation. In Taiwan, there are six suspects were given to probation. One of suspects involved ketamine trafficking and his friend was sentenced to three years and eight months imprisonment, due to circumstance of the case involved with a small packet of ketamine (unknown quantity, Class III of drug), and the suspect fully cooperated to the police and confession, so he could place on probation. But his friend refused to admit his guilt and with a bad attitude since he was arrested, therefore, the judge was sentenced to his friend with imprisonment. In Hong Kong, there is a case that a suspect who were sentenced with training center order, although the suspect trafficked a large quantity of ketamine (24.18 grams), but because he is just sixteen years old, and the judge referred to the past similar cases and section 109A of Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Restriction on imprisonment of persons between 16 and 21 years of age), he believed that it is not a better way if sentence the suspect with fixed-term imprisonment, thus he made a decision to the suspects with a training center order, which means the young suspect has to stay in a training center in a period of time for rehabilitating his attitude. In Macao, there is a heroin trafficking case and involved with two suspects, one of suspects smuggled around 2,500 grams of heroin from Vietnam into Macao by plane, another suspect was responsible for receipt of the drug. Because the evidence is insufficient, thus the receiver acquitted of the charge, but for the smuggler, she was sentenced with nine years imprisonment.

Chapter 5 - Discussion

In the result of severity, Taiwan has the harshest punishment towards the suspects who were committed drug trafficking crime, most of suspects were sentenced to five or less than ten years imprisonment (=3.09, S.D.=1.15), followed by Macao (=2.93, S.D.=0.57), China (=2.65, S.D.=0.88), and Hong Kong (=2.05, S.D.=0.88).

In legal level of China, a criminal behavior involved in smuggling, trafficking, or manufacturing of heroin or methamphetamine (ice) over fifty grams, even a great quantity of drug, which are enough to punish the criminal with the severest sanction of death penalty, life sentence or more than fifteen years of fixed-term imprisonment. Taiwan is different with China, the quantity of drug is not a cutting point to distinguish a suspect would be judged to death penalty or other lighter punishments, judges mainly according to the types of drug (on the basis of addiction, abuse and social harmfulness) as a sentencing guideline, for instance, a criminal behavior involved in smuggling, trafficking, or manufacturing of heroin would be punished with the maximum of death penalty or life sentence. If a suspect involved in methamphetamine trafficking, no matter how much of quantity of the drug, the suspects would not be judged to the severest punishment of death penalty. In Hong Kong, traffic, transport or manufacture all kind of controlled drugs would be punished to the severest sanction of life sentence. In Macao, a criminal behavior involved in smuggling, trafficking, or manufacturing of heroin, ice or ketamine would be punished with a sentencing range of three to fifteen years imprisonment.

Taken together with aspects on practice and law, Although Chinese law seems as harsher than other regions because over of fifty grams of heroin or ice trafficking could be sentenced to the maximum punishment of death penalty or life sentence, nevertheless, from the research samples, there are thirteen suspects committed ice trafficking with more than fifty grams, but the suspects merely were sentenced within eight to fifteen years, it might be reflected the severest punishment only implements on the situation of the last and absolutely necessary. Taiwan is the harshest punishment towards drug traffickers in the result of severity, because there are 36 suspects (close to one third of the samples) relate to the Class I of drug - heroin, among the suspects, there are 13 suspects were sentenced to more than fifteen years imprisonment and two suspects were sentenced to life sentence, which might be one of the reason to explain why Taiwan has the severest punishment among the four regions. Hong Kong is the most lenient punishment to respond to drug trafficking crime, there are only seven suspects were sentenced to within five to ten years imprisonment, for those traffickers, the most serious case that the suspect trafficked 114.42 grams of ketamine and was sentenced to six years and six months. Macao situates in a high level of severe punishment to the drug traffickers and rank only next to Taiwan, the reason is the samples contains 23 suspects who committed heroin trafficking by using the way of internal concealment, and the cases involved in large quantity of drug trafficking. Therefore, under the aggravating circumstances on the large quantity and the hidden technique, the suspects were judged with relatively serious penalties. In those cases, the criminal penalties in the suspects are within six years to ten and half years imprisonment, this is the main reason to make Macao situate in a higher level of severe punishment.

Compare among the regions in a time of a suspect's arrest date to trial date of first instance, Chinese criminal procedure approximately has to take 91-270 days (91-180 days accounts for 42.6% and 180-270 days accounts for 25.8%); Taiwanese criminal procedure likewise has to take 91-270 days (91-180 days accounts for 29.6% and 181-270 days accounts for 26.7%); Hong Kong's criminal procedure has to 91-180 days (92.4%) and Macao's criminal procedure needs to take 271-540 days (271-360 days accounts for 31%; 361-450 days accounts for 18.4% and 451-540 days accounts for 18.4%). By looking at the above data of each region, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong also have a shorter criminal processing time than Macao, but Hong Kong should be the shortest one since the most of samples distribute in the scale of 91-180 days.

Concerning to the certainty in the samples, China, Hong Kong and Macao are in the same way with a high percentage of incarceration rates (certainty), but China is the highest percentage among the three regions. Taiwan are relatively lower than the other three regions, it has 95.6% of incarceration rate, which means 4.4% of suspects have not found guilty or even found guilty but the circumstance of case are relatively minor, thereby the suspects have not be judged to incarcerate immediately, give a chance for them to reform themselves.

In summary of the above three elements, on severity, Taiwan seems more punish severely than other regions in deal with drug traffickers, and Hong Kong is oppositely more lenient than other three regions; on celerity, Hong Kong has a swift time in response to criminal process, instead, Macao has shortcoming in this aspect; on certainty, China has a highest incarceration rate and Taiwan relatively holds a lowest percentage than others.

The incidence of drug trafficking case in the four regions

The following stage will go into the incidence of drug trafficking case in each of the regions, to take a look is that mean China should has a lowest incidence of drug trafficking case because it holds the highest level of incarceration rate, a second place of high efficiency in criminal processing time, and a severe law to the criminals with the maximum sanction of death penalty.

The incidence of four regions are respectively collected from annual reports on drug control in China in 2007-2011, yearbooks of drug crime prevention work of Taiwan in 2007-2011, fight crime committee reports of Hong Kong in 2007-2011 and work reports of Macao judiciary police in 2007-2011.

The calculation of incidence is through total of the drug trafficking cases in the year divided by popultion in the same year, then multiple by 100,000. It represents the number of drug trafficking cases may occur in every 100,000 people.

Figure 13: Integration incidence of drug trafficking cases from the four regions in the years of 2007-2011.

The above figure is shown China has the lowest incidence of drug trafficking case among the regions, followed by Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It makes sense in the lowest level of drug trafficking case in China because it holds a high level of certainty and celerity, which might already produce a certain degree of deterrrence to the potential criminals, thus cases relatively are less than others. Instead, Taiwan and Hong Kong are situated in the higher level than China and Macao. Since 2009, the number of drug trafficking cases was increasing in Taiwan and Hong Kong oppositely was dropping. For Macao, the region situates in second place of lowest incidence of drug trafficking case, perhaps the revised Macao drug law is already sufficient to reach a goal of deterrence since the maximum sentence has been improved from twelve years to fifteen years. Nevertheless, refer to the antidrug reports of Macao in 2009 to 2011, in spite of the drug trafficking cases keep in an average level, but the Macao judiciary police indicated that the arrest rate of drug traffickers account for 54% of all arrestee of drug-related cases in 2011, in the past years of 2009 and 2010, the rates were in around 43% ("Annual report of Macao Police Judiciary", 2011, p.24), it represents the pattern of drug trafficking is being change from individual crime act in the past to become collectivize at present since the drug trafficking cases are stay in an average level but the arrestees increase. From the research of Macao samples, there are twelve cases involved with two or three suspects in a case, their roles mainly are watcher-smuggler (one person keeps close watch on another person in the whole criminal activity, to avoid the crime behavior is terminated because of cause from the perpetrator or other external environmental factor); smuggler-receiver (one person is responsible for drug smuggling from other region into Macao, another person is responsible for receipt of the drug in Macao and smuggle out to another region).

Chapter 6 - Conclusion and Limitation

Go back to our research question, the first question has specified by the chapters of research result and discuss. Undoubtedly, Taiwan holds an attitude of strike hard policy to the drug traffickers, due to Taiwan has a high recidivism rate of 85% in drug taking (Xu, 2012), which bring about a great increase drug demand thus drug trafficking cases relatively increase as well. To prevent further deterioration of drug scourge, Taiwan has no alternative but to adopt a strong attitude to punish severely to the drug traffickers, besides, the region also strengthens the work on rehabilitation for drug users. With regards to Macao, the region surely need to improve the time of criminal process, otherwise, incidence of the cases will increase since a regions situates in the middle level of severity and certainty, also criminal processing time is slowly that cause weakness in relationship between crime and punishment, as a result in weaken the deterrence to the public.

On second question, a region of severest punishment actually may not have a good result to deter the crime occur, just as Taiwan, the region implements a strike hard attitude to the drug traffickers, but the incidence of drug trafficking case is still in a higher level and even increasingly, in addition, the severest punishment of death penalty also could not effectively prevent to the crime in some countries with high execution rate. On the other hand, the penalty also would bring about other issues, such as wrong kill a person because exists reasonable doubt or confession under cruel torture. Consequently, punish severely is not the most effectively to deter the potential criminals (general deterrence), it can only say that which surely has reached the goal of specific deterrence, because the person has been killed and will not commit the crime again, and even sentence to a criminal with life sentecne, which also reach to the goal of public safety since the felon has been segragated from the population. Overall, from the research result may know that a region even though has severest punishment to the serious criminals, but it may not always have an effectiveness.

Look back to the figure of incidence of drug trafficking case, although Macao stays in a lower level in recent years, nevertheless, just as what the director of police judicairy Wong Sio-Chak claimed, the pattern of drug trafficking is changing to more secretly and Macao has already had a sign of worsening as a drug transit station ("Drug scourge", 2012). Hence, avoid the situation will aggravate and drug demanders will increase rapidly, here are some recommendations for the organs of Macao legislaure, judiciary and administration.

Legislature

Improve the term of imprisonment to aim at transnational drug trafficking crimes.

In recent years, transnational drug trafficking crime is still rampant, such as what the Ho Chio Meng argued, Macao is relatviely lower punishment than other neighboring districts, therefore drug trafficking gang selected Macao to be one of drug transit station. Even though the law has been revised in 2009 and increase the upper and lower limits of sentence, whereas the maximum term of imprisonment in Macao is still have a far distance with other neighboring districts, therefore appropriately improve to the maximum term of imprisonment in twenty years is need, because it could counteract the thought from potential criminals that believe Macao has lower cost need to pay in commit a drug trafficking crime while he is arrested, thereby the law should be increased for enhacing a certain degree of deterrent effect. On the other hand, judges may has more flexibility in decision when they deal with some serious circumstance of transnational or organized drug trafficking crimes. Refer to the Macao samples, Macao has close to 70% of suspects were sentenced to five to ten years, even some serious circumstance of drug trafficking cases (e.g. internal concealment) also can only sentenced to a suspect with no more than fifteen years imprisonment due to legal restriction and some migitating circumstances, therefore, the maximum term of imprisonment is need appropriately raise up to a level that close to the neighboring districts, then the region would not become as a high risk area since the crime cost is lowest.

Reduce a daily amount of synthetic drug in personal use to aim at local trafficking crimes.

In recent years, synthetic drug is very prevalence among teenagers since price is cheaper and most of them are more convenient to use. A report of Central Registration System for Drug Abusers of Macao pointed out that young drug abusers account for 48.2% to take ketamine and 42.2% to take methamphetamine ("Report of Central registration system for drug abusers in Macau", 2012), reveal synthetic drug has enormous influence towards teenagers, thus the situation should not be ignored and even intensify crackdown effort on synthetic drug. In addition, some teenagers were found smuggling a small amount of synthetic drugs from China into Macao for personal use or even traffic to others in exchange for money to support their drug habit.

In sentencing of trafficking case, when suspects sell or transport less than five times of daily amount of a drug would be accused by minor crime of trafficking, and the length of sentence is relatively lower within one years to five years imprisonment. Therefore, such as ketamine, a daily amount for personal use is 0.6 grams, which means if a suspect smuggles less than three grams of ketamine, who would be sentenced to one to five years imprisonment if he was proved guilty, even if the trial result is less than three years imprisonment and the criminal has no a serious criminal background, probation system could be applied in this case. Therefore, a daily amount is a key indicator to distinguish serious or minor circumstance of a drug trafficking case.

Avoid teenagers or adult traffickers hold an attitude of criminal responsibility exemption, and should give a positive signal to the public that violate the law must have relative criminal punishment. As a result, such as ketamine, the current daily amount of personal use should consider to reduce one-third down to 0.4 grams, because only strengten education is insufficient to drug users, it also must increase appropriate punishment to reach a certain level of deterrent effect, accordingly decrease the possibility on drug users become as a drug traffickers in further.

Judiciary

Decrease processing time of criminal procedure. In general, a maximum term of suspects in custody (China - 19.74 months; Taiwan - 27 months; Macao - 42 months), the term can reflect the time of criminal procedure need because through lock a suspect in custody for purpose to make the whole criminal procedure can be achieved. A lower of judicial efficiency in Macao has been foucs and criticized for many years, mainly reason are not enough number of judges and criminal procedure is too complicated. Due to Macao economy boomed, relatively crime rate also increase in these ten years, meanwhile, judges are insufficient to cause a lot of caseloads accumulated on each year, thus, increase judges is a one of method to solve the problem. In addition, revision of laws timely is need. The current criminal procedure code has been used for sixteen years, some procedures can be properly revised, such as decrease the time of investigate stage or abolish the unnecessary stage of preliminary inquiry system (or limited only use in some serious crime and the suspects will be sentenced to the most of ten or more years imprisonment). Through optimize above criminal procedures to bring down the processing time in criminal procedure, which may help to intensify the efficiency of celerity for relatively improve the deterrent effect.

Administration

Police department

Strength exchange of information with the govenrments of drug source area, such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, Peru. Because trafficking routes will be constantly change in order to avoid interception by police in different regions, based on that, increase communication from source area and neighboring districts then can effectively deter to the transnational of drug trafficking crimes. In addition, police should increased patrol in high-risk areas (disco and pub) to prevent crimes from happening. Moreover, introduce informant plan, to encourage drug abusers or residents give information to police for crackdown drug trafficking gangs or drug carteen, thus return for an informant fee, this approach is indeed help police to solve crimes and decrease the dark figure of drug trafficking crime.

Social Welfare Bureau

Propagate harmfulness of taking drugs, encourage teenagers bravely to attend detoxification and strengthen psychological health education to stay away from drugs. Because the period of teenagers is at a stage of psychological developing, they are vulnerable to fall into a wrong path by influence from their peers, thus, strength teeanger education on perniciousness of drugs is need. On the other hand, encourage parents report drug abuse behavior from their child to the bureau, for the purpose of social worker can be intervented in early, prevent further harm to their child. While the drug users or potential users have been declined or controlled, then drug trafficking crime would also have a certain degree of reduction or restraint because on the principal of supply and demand.

In summary, criminal punishment and criminal procedure have to appropriate adjustment to prevent for future deterioration, at the same time, reduce consumers on controlled drug and strength the possibility on interception from drug transportation, then drug trafficking crimes could be controlled or eradicated.

Limitation

Due to online access the criminal judgments are limited by timeliness, confidentiality and inhomogeneity, therefore the samples were collected by a method of non-random sampling and cannot rule out the possibilty of samples which may concentrate in certain locality.

On the other hand, some Macao judgments are written in portuguese version, I need someone to help me translate about the content of those judgments, therefore, this part was done in collaboration with me and someone else. In addition, some courts of the regions are not public or limited access the judgments because confidentiality, such as Macao, the court of first instance in Macao has not public the judgments, therefore, merely through the content of judgments from the Court of Second Instance to find out the data of first instance (such as trial date from first instance, trial result from first instance). Although the research is as far as to reduce bias from comparison with different level of the courts (just extract the information of first instance from content of the judgments), but it could not avoid some samples tend to serious cirucumstances of drug trafficking crime, such as large quantity of drug trafficking, organized or transnational drug trafficking crimes. All of drug trafficking cases in Macao samples are come from appeallate cases, due to Court of Second Instance of Macao is responsible for trial criminal cases in appeal stage, hence all cases in Macao samples must contain at least one of appealler who did not agree the trial result from first instance or the appealler expects a lower term of imprisonment. Nonetheless, the comparison with the four regions can also give readers for a broad picture on response of criminal justice to the drug trafficking crimes and differences between each of regions as well.

On the other hand, due to Department of Justice of Hong Kong, Prosecutors Office of Taiwan, Public security department of China and Macao prosecution office have not open access to indictments, consequently, the samples have not count in some cases with minor circumstance or lack of adequate evidence and then were placed on file in the prosecution department. As a result, the samples are only count for the cases which have been submitted to the courts for a trial.

In spite of this research has already collected 100 judgments of each region respectively, but it still exist missing data from the samples while compare between the four regions in celerity section.

Future study

For the further researchers, there are two aspects of possible recommendation.

First, the samples size respectively improve to 500 to 1000 of each region, it could reduce a certain degree of systemic error. On the other hand, if the sample size is large, the researchers can through systematic random sampling to select the research samples, which could also reduce representative error and increase accuracy and reliability to the result.

On the other hand, consider to add a questionnaire survey into research, for more understanding on attitudes from some specialists (e.g. legislators, judges or police officers), by the outcome may know that if there are any other ways can prevent the drug trafficking crime in practical work, have any difficulties in revision the current law with more harsh or lenient punishment, and any difficulties to trace down the crimes and intercept the illegal drug smuggling into Macao.