Book Review: Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Uniquely High-Risk Crime Targets

AuthorGretchen Pendell
Published date01 September 2005
Date01 September 2005
Subject MatterArticles
Court’s definition of probablecause. Next, the authors give a thorough explanation of proba-
ble cause. Probable cause is always required in the following scenarios: arrests with warrants,
arrests without warrants, searches and seizures of property with warrants, and searches and
seizures of property without warrants. When warrants are required, the probable cause deter-
mination is made by the magistrate charged with issuing the warrant; when warrants are not
used, the officer makes the probable cause determination. When police make an arrest, the
probable cause determination concerns whether an offense has been committed and whether
the suspect did it. In cases of searches, the probable cause determination concerns whether
the items to be seized are linked to the criminal activity and whether they can be located in a
particular place to be searched. Officers must know for arrests to be validthat probable cause
determinations must be made. The chapter concludes with briefs of all the significant cases in
the area of probable cause.
Chapter 5, “Standards for the Use of Force,” is another informative chapter. Almost every
state has a law or regulation regarding police use of force. The American Law Institute
adopted a rule that states “a police officer may use such force as is reasonably necessary to
effect the arrest, to enter premises to effectthe arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody of
an arrested person.” This chapter illustrates the cases that set the precedent for instances
when officers may use deadly force. The chapter further illustrates the cases that set the stan-
dard for nondeadly force.
This book is relevant to criminal justice majors, especially those going into the law
enforcement profession because it helps explain, by the use of case law,procedures that offi-
cers must follow to build cases for successful prosecution. Also, this book is important
because of U.S. Code 42, Section 1983 lawsuits. The 1983 lawsuits are a significant tool
because they protect citizens who have had their civilrights infringed on by an officer acting
under the color of authority. If police officersdo not follow case law, it is a possibility that the
officer will be held civically liable for his or her actions as well as the agency employing the
officer. Officers must be especially cautious in performing their duties by the policies and
procedures set forth by the department. Officers must have a general understanding of case
law and must be able to identify the significant landmark cases that are pertinent to the area of
criminal procedure.
Students who are planning to have a career in law enforcement should have working
knowledge of the issues contained in this book. This book is excellently composed because it
presents to the reader summaries of the opinions along with analyses and explanations. This
book gives students a better understanding of the importance of legal holdings, explains the
Court’s holdings, and places each case in context with the Court’s other decisions. In sum,
this book is a thought-provoking evaluation of criminal procedure and is guaranteed to
inform and enlighten the reader.
Tiffany Stokes
University of Southern Mississippi
Victimizing Vulnerable Groups: Images of Uniquely High-Risk Crime Targets, by Charisse
Tia Maria Coston (Ed.). Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004. pp. xvii, 387.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016805284507
Book Reviews 241

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