There United State of America to university professors
There are several theories that are used to explain why people commit crimes.
These theories cover a range of scientific studies that still continue to be used in crime studies today. By using these theories and information gathered, an explanation of the criminal behaviours will be examined and explained relating to each supporting theories. The traditional explanations for crime are nature vs. nurture debate and the ideas relating to any possible biological reasons that turns someone into a criminal. Are some people really just ‘born bad? ’ or are there other, social reasons for criminal behaviour?In this essay I will look at both sides of the argument, and offer an insight into the reasons behind such criminal behaviours. The Classical theory argued that everyone is entitled to free will and rational choice but in some circumstances criminals can be motivated by psychological and social forces even if there’s a consequence as a result (Curran, 2001).
Classical theory saw crime only occurring when the benefits outweigh the costs meaning that people will only get involved in criminal behaviours where there are no effective punishments or deterrence as a consequence.This theory explained crime as a free-willed choice where criminals are rational decisions makers. There are not just one theory to fully explain and support criminal behaviours but various theories working together to explain such phenomenal a great example would be in the case of Ted Kazynski. During 1978 and 1995 Ted Kaczynski left many packages which contained explosive material for people to find causing injury and in some cases death.He also mailed a number of packages all over the United State of America to university professors and people involved with computers and technology within the country (Johnson, 1998:1-4). Ted Kaczynski’s interest in explosive materials can be traced back to when he was still in High School where he used a science class to build he very first explosive device a pipe bomb. There can be many theoretical schools of crime causations that we can used to explain why Ted Kazynski committed such crimes.
In the Classical School Theory it was noted in Kaczynski’s statement was that he felt disturbed by society in terms of “overcrowding, dissociation from nature, social conformity, rapid pace of technological change, consumerism…corporate domination” (Unabomber: Ted Kaczynski, 2). This a clear case where perhaps Kaczynski believed if he rid the world of these people involved in technology things might return to normal for him. Here Ted Kazynski is rationalising with his decision to commit the crime where he clearly sees that the benefits outweigh the costs of his actions (Beccaria,1963).The Positivist Theory rejected the Classical Theory’s idea that all crime is a result of rational choice that can be made by anyone. Although they agree with the Classical Theory that most crime could be explained through “human nature,” they also argued that the most serious crimes were committed by individuals who were “primitive” or “atavistic”—which means, they are the people who failed to evolve to a fully human and civilized state as to others (Lombroso, 1876, 19 ; 2006). A good example would be looking at the factors behind what makes serial killers tick?The answer is their problem lies with when they were younger. When looking at the case of John Wayne Gacy Jr is the serial rapist murderer who raped and murdered young men, most of whom had worked for him and who he called them good for nothing queers.
As a young child John tried everything to gain the loving attention and an embracing closeness with his father whom he loved very much, John S. Gacy, Senior. John S. Gacy, Senior was a not a good father because he would always drink and verbally and physically abused John.His father always used to call him a queer and a momma’s boy despite that John still really loved him unconditionally and wanted his full attention (Bowlby, 1988). John Gacy Senior died before John was able to become close with him and many believe that is what caused John to kill the 30 sum young men and hide them under his houses floorboards. Another example of how a traumatic childhood or adolescence can lead to becoming a serial killer is Ted Bundy.
Ted was not a usual serial killer as he was handsome and educated.He had grown up with a family full of women; he never knew his father and people described him as being a lonely withdrawn child. His first girlfriend and first love Stephanie Brooks had a major impact on his life as too how he crimes started but it was be traced back to again to his childhood. Ted loved Stephanie a lot but after a few months of dating she left him as she felt he had no real life goals even he tried to persuade her that he did with lies which she rejected. After leaving Ted Stephanie moved away to California.Ted never got over the heartbreak and he then went around the United States alluring college women by various practices such as the famous “broken leg” where he would pretend he broke his leg and would ask for their help only to abduct them rape and kill them. Crime therefore resulted not from what criminals had in common with others in society, but from their distinctive physical or mental defects (Bartol, 2006).
During the night of January 17, 2000, Sckeena Marbury, her sister Lakeisha Wilson-Bey and six other women beat and stabbed Tomika Blackwell through the neck, killing her.Previously Sckeena had started and lost a fight with Tomika on the night of the murder. After losing the fight Sckeena then told Lakeisha that Tomika had unjustly attacked her. After discussing what has happened they called up there friend. A few hours later, Sckeena and Lakeisha gathered six of their friends and went to Tomika apartment. The group of women carried with them a butcher knife and two baseball bats, where they used the objects to attack and kill Tomika, who was only 20 years old at the time.
Sckeena was only 19 years old, and Lakeisha was 21 (Vedantam).Studies has shown that in a city where there it is a lower-income neighbourhood such as South-East DC where both all of the women were from, the youth there has adapted and learned to defend themselves in order to survive and be fearful of (Matsueda, 1988). People would fight to defend themselves and what is theirs, in terms of if it is property or a reputation, fiercely. Due to the lack of good policing, or the mistrust in police, most people who has grown up in this kind of environment has often taken the law into their own hands in resolving their conflicts as the institutions has failed to protect them (Sutherland, 1939).
From all the evidences and facts that were put forward in the trial, it can be established that the motives behind for this murder was respect. Sutherland’s differential association theory is the best theory that can be used to explain why this crime was committed although other theories can also explain this crime. Social disorganization theory looks at the breakdown in traditional social control and organization in the society such as school, police, community, neighbourhood, or family so that deviant and criminal activity result.It also explores the negative influences that lead to delinquency and criminality behaviour (Sutherland, 1939). One notion of the differential association is the fact that a person may choose to commit a crime when the favourable consequences of the crime becoming greater than the unfavourable ones.
Sckeena could have known and feared jail time for attacking and killing Tomika. However, the fulfilment of getting revenge, and the fear of being kick out of her group of friends or being labelled as a weakling for having lost a fight and being rejected as a result, was far greater than the fear of punishment.The women strongly all felt that their life time bond of sisterhood and friendship was far solid than the law.
Therefore the crime was committed as a result of their association with one another through their learned behaviour in their distinguish environment (Sutherland, 1947). Looking back at the case of Ted Kaczynski and as mentioned before this case can fall into a number of various Criminology Theories. From a Psychological perspective criminals are viewed as people who were born predisposed to antisocial behaviour (Bartol, 2006). From a young age Ted Kaczynski believed that his parents and family verbally abused him.Somewhere down the line this abuse or any kind of abuse would have an effect on his behaviour.
After a long stay in the hospital for an allergic reaction, Ted Kaczynski’s mother noted that he changed he was more “withdrawn, less responsive, and more fearful of separation from her after that point in time” (Johnson, 1998, 13). There was other indication that Ted Kaczynski never really fit in with his peers throughout school. He actually believed that other students held certain opinions about him.
According to journalist Ted Ottley, none of his peers really took notice of him (Ottley, 2004, Chapter 13, 11).It is easy to conclude that Kaczynski has some psychological problems. He was clinically diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic in 1996. If we look at this from a Sociological point of view from a psychological evaluation done on Kaczynski, the place(s) he lived in were described as this: By the age of eight or nine, Ted Kaczynski describes that he was no longer well accepted by the neighbourhood children or his peers at school. The neighbourhood children “bordered on delinquency” by his account, and he was not willing or interested in being involved in their activities.
The family moved several times, bettering their housing status, eventually moving to Evergreen Park, Illinois, when he was approximately age 10. He describes this as a middle class suburb of Chicago. (Johnson, 1998, 17) Kaczynski saw the other children in his neighbourhood as bad influences and tried to stay away from them. As it says, Kaczynski’s environment changed several times. Perhaps criminal behaviour can be attributed to a lack of a stable environment.
(Johnson, 1998:7-9). Since the sixteenth century, theorists have been rying to explain the origins of crime and criminals. Theories, ranging from Beccaria’s rational choice to Marx’s social conflict have attempted to, and in many ways been successful, in answering the question of why people commit certain crimes. However, none has, or ever will, be able to fully explain or predict criminal behaviours and crime, therefore in conclusion positivism is able to narrowly explain why people commit crime, evidences shown suggests that there are identifiable traits which lead to criminality such as personality, biology, or social forces.References 1.
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