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Criminological Theory Critique
The criminological theory that is the least plausible in regard to the homicide occurrence supposes that genetics, biology, and evolution dynamically impact the predisposition to criminal behavior. There are several reasons why this theory should not be perceived as reliable regardless of the existing evidence. First, a person’s criminological behavior does not develop in the mother’s womb. Criminological behavior is an acquired phenomenon and not a congenital characteristic (Douglas, Burgess, & Ressler, 2013). The research on the subject showed that there are numerous environmental and socioeconomic factors that may influence the possibility of criminal behavior manifestation. The parents’ genes do not form the outlooks of the child, but their approach to the child’s education does. Even if there is little chance that one of the child’s parents is a criminal, the kid may become a criminal in the future, not because of the genes but the parents’ example (Beirne & Messerschmidt, 2015). The presence of a mental illness or any other internal factors does not certify that the child will manifest delinquent behaviors and commit crimes. Instead, the child should be seen as an individual that is in need of professional medical help. The display of aggression toward the environment and other individuals does not equalize the dependency (even if it exists) between the criminal genes of the parents and their child’s behavior (Douglas et al., 2013). There are various reasons that do not allow to justify the parent’s genes as one of the triggers of criminal behavior. On a bigger scale, health problems and deviations from the norm should be regarded as the core premises for crimes committed in a state of affect (Beirne & Messerschmidt, 2015). There is no logical explanation supporting the idea that evolution and genes stand at the origins of criminal behavior.
Controlling and Decreasing Homicides in the United States
In order to control and decrease the occurrence of homicides across the United States, it is proposed to implement several short- and long-term initiatives. The first short-term objective is to target the killing rates among the younger population. This problem is pivotal due to the fact that the government has to address this issue if they want to deter violent and illegal behavior. Moreover, this would help the government to fight the assemblage of gangs and their consequent activity. The law enforcement agencies all across the country will have to cooperate if they want to eliminate the prevalent criminal behaviors. The second short-term objective is to chase and penalize the gun dealers that function illegally (Wagner, 2013). These sellers can usually be found in the streets. In other words, the government is in charge of removing illegal guns and limiting public access to firearms. This should not be seen as the US government’s opportunity to leave the citizens exposed to gun violence but limit them to the legal ways of acquiring gun licenses and purchasing weapons. The first long-term objective is to invest in the most effective crime deterrence programs and improve economic opportunities. This should positively impact the communities that live in poor neighborhoods and their predisposition to homicides and other types of crimes. Fighting unemployment should also be a part of this homicide deterrence program. The second long-term objective is to improve the relationships between the public and the law enforcement agency representatives (Siegel, 2015). The latter is usually seen as the core cause of violence, and one of the major responsibilities of the government is to provide the US communities with the real-life illustrations of exemplary police officers that guard the country and do not display abuse of authority.
The Key Factors That Trigger Homicides
According to the majority of the criminological theories, the key factor that influences delinquent behavior is the socioeconomic state of the individual. The persons that come from poor neighborhoods are more likely to commit crimes than the persons who grew up under typical circumstances (Palmer & Humphrey, 2013). This mostly regards to the theories of strain and social learning. The gap between the rich and the poor is one of the most widely recognized and approved premises of criminal behavior. The next series of factors related to the psychological state of an individual. A perfect example of a theory exploiting these ideas is the labeling theory. Based on this theory, the occurrence of homicides can be explained by the recidivist nature of a former inmate (Palmer & Humphrey, 2013). What is even more important, the possibility of a committed homicide increase due to the communal outlooks of the persons who surround the former criminal. In this case, the psychological oppression imposed on the wrongdoer serves as a catalyst and forms a perceptional pattern in the criminal’s brain that he or she is refused by the society and limited only to the activities that took him to jail. The third set of factors relates to the realistic view of the world and existing inequalities (Palmer & Humphrey, 2013). This analytic perception perfectly fits the description of the rational choice theory and its core postulates. Therefore, the homicides committed in line with the rational choice theory are justified by the willingness to correct injustice and achieve the ultimate goal which can be described as comprehensive contentment.
Beirne, P., & Messerschmidt, J. W. (2015). Criminology: A sociological approach. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Douglas, J. E., Burgess, A., & Ressler, R. K. (2013). Crime classification manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Palmer, S. H., & Humphrey, J. A. (2013). Deviant behavior: Patterns, sources, and control. New York, NY: Plenum.
Siegel, L. J. (2015). Criminology: The core (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wagner, W. E. (2013). Practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. New York, NY: Sage.