Essay Example on a News Story and Theories of Crime

Published: 2022-12-26
Essay Example on a News Story and Theories of Crime
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal law
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1862 words
16 min read


In the `New York Times' of April 24, 2019, there is a story of a man who was found in the couch in the governor's mansion in Louisiana. The residents of Louisiana woke up to the news of one of the biggest security breaches in the state. The man found his way into the mansion of the governor when to the couch sat but later fell asleep. The man who was identified as Reynard Green aged 34 was found by the security officers and was immediately arrested. He was charged with trespassing, simple burglary, damaging property, being in possession of drugs and a police officer's battery. There are several questions that are still fresh and lingering in the minds of many people a week after the incident. Most people wonder because the governor's mansion is in an eight-acre property which is gated and provided security for the 24 hours by the state paratroopers. The investigations are still underway to unearth the way the man was able to access the governor's residence irrespective of the tight security. The security officers are also keening analyzing and evaluating the security procedures at the premises with the aim of making improvements if any. The governor himself Mr. John Edwards has not commented whether he was inside the building at the time of the incident. There are several theories which try to explain why people engage in criminal activities which are the social disorganization, the strain, social control, social learning, and the rational theories. These theories give different reasons as to why individuals either deliberately or not decide to commit crimes. In criminology, it is important to find out why people commit a crime so that there can be ways of preventing the same crimes.

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Rational Theory of criminology

This theory adopts leans towards the utilitarian belief that man is a rational and reasoning actor who is able to weigh the costs and benefits of any actions he/she takes. This theory was formulated by Clarke and Cornish with the aim of understanding crime so that there can be effective ways of preventing it. The theory makes the assumption that crime is intentional and a behavior which is intended to fulfill the needs of the offender such as status, sex, money, and excitement. Therefore for the offender to meet these needs he/she has to make decisions which are quite a rudimentary bearing in mind that there are laws and limits in the society. The rational choice theory makes several assumptions regarding the decision to commit a crime: firstly is individualism second is the maximizing of individualistic goals and the last one is to fulfill the self-interests of the offender (Tibbetts 2012). The offenders are ever thinking about themselves are the different ways in which they can fulfill their goals.

The explanation of this theory fits well the crime which was committed in the governor's mansion. Firstly the individual wanted to gain status because it is not easy to access the governor's mansion. He, therefore, wanted to gain fame by accessing the mansion and then getting the attention of the media and the government agencies. Secondly, it might be he wanted to fulfill his self-individualistic interests of getting money. Since the governor is a senior government official, he wanted to gain access to either some money or some other property such as goals to enrich himself (Tibbetts 2012).

Research Methods In Criminology


The study of the behavioral change sciences requires the analysis of the tools as well as the approaches in order to help the law enforcement agencies as well as the society to have a deeper understanding of crime and therefore be able to control the criminal behaviors. Since there are different types of crime, it is important that the right methods are used in conducting research on crime. There are several methods which are used in researching crime; however, not all of them are relevant and appropriate because crime is ever evolving and becoming complicated. The most common types of crime in the society include homicide, murder: first degree and second degree, manslaughter and felony murder. These crimes require the right methods of research so that the right findings can be obtained. In Criminology the most common research method is the positivist school. This method of study tries to justify the measurement and quantification of the behaviors of the criminals. The research method is divided into psychological, biological and social. The biological positivism borrows heavily from the theory of evolution was formulated by Charles Darwin. They argue that if the theory was applicable to animals, it could also be applied to human beings (Chamberlain 2013). For centuries, the field of medicine has been deeply concerned with the issue of crime and why it is committed.

In the process of studying these several theories were formulated which absolved the society of any blame of any crime committed by the member of the society. They explained that the problem lay on the members who were biologically different from the ones who are law-abiding. The modern biological research on crime links the physical size, aggression, and athleticism to crime because people who are stronger have the capacity to unleash violence when compared to the people who are physically weak. The current research also shows that genetics and chromosomes are some of the inherent factors which lead people to commit a crime (Chamberlain 2013).They, therefore, posit that the tendency to commit a crime is hereditary rather than environmental.

The Psychological positivism posits that the personality of an individual is divided into the id which is the driver of the biological drives. It argues that the criminal activities are mainly driven by mental illnesses the individuals are suffering from or having a very weak conscience. The psychological positivism argues those factors such as broken homes, negligence by the mother and when the parents are absent, or they do not care about their children, it can lead to the children engaging in crime. It also explains that there are some personality behaviors that are likely to make one develop behaviors which are anti-social. He, therefore, concludes that personality is the one that determines how a person will behave. The social positivism identifies society as the cause of crime and rejects the biological and psychological theories (Chamberlain 2013). It posits that the parents and the society as a whole if they do not play their social roles well it will lead to people engaging in crime. The quantitative method of researching crime is the primary method which shows how the crimes are distributed as well their causes in society. This method uses quantitative methods such as the surveys, evaluation research, and field research to get the primary information about a crime. The data which is obtained in this form is then used by criminologists and other law enforcement agencies in making decisions and coming up with policies on how to prevent crime (Chamberlain 2013).

Politics and Crime

The art and science of running a government as well as guiding its policies are referred to as politics. The nature of politics globally is that the formulation and debate about the policies regarding the criminal justice system fall under the government which is controlled by politicians. Therefore, it is driven by politics (Hagan 2012). The actions of the politicians who are elected by the people have a direct impact on the legal and criminal justice system as well as the policies that have to be implemented.

The criminal justice policymakers in most countries are appointed by the public officials who happen to be the politicians. For instance, in most countries, it is the president who appoints the chief justice and the chief attorney. This shows that politicians are directly connected to the criminal justice system because these appointed officials will be expected to handle criminal matters. The president of the United States is the one who appoints the Supreme Court judges though it has to be confirmed by the Senate which also comprises of politicians (Hagan 2012). All these methods of appointment and confirmation are highly political, and therefore the criminal justice system and politics are not separable because the appointing authority is politicians.

In most countries, the United States included criminal law is a statute matter. This means that all the criminal laws are made through legislation and these legislations are done by the politicians. The legislative assemblies are the ones which the laws to be amended, enacted and even the ones who need to be declared illegal. They are also the ones who determine the appropriate punishment for the ones who break those laws which they legislate. It is therefore obvious that the political influences the laws that are enacted by the legislative assemblies. The politicians are equally the ones who allocate the budgets for the criminal justice system ranging from the courts to the offices of the attorneys. They, therefore, have a direct influence on the running of the established justice system (Hagan 2012). They also have the ability to manipulate the systems the way they want.

The politicians are the ones who formulate and set policies which run the system and even though the sector try the much they can to distance themselves from the actions of the politicians, it is practically impossible because the politicians are the ones who set the policies which run their different departments. The departments try their best to ensure that the laws are fair and are applied equally to all the citizens without any form of patronage from the political leaders. The political climate in certain regions or countries has a huge impact on the operations of the police department. The elected officials in most countries are the ones who elect the police administrators, and they have the powers to fire them at their will (Hagan 2012). Therefore, the style in which the law enforcement officers perform their duties, the policies of the department and all the informal and formal norms are likely to be influenced by the politicians.

Though the police department is protected from the politicians in most of the countries, the prosecutors in most countries are appointed by the politicians which means that the likelihood of being influenced by the politicians is very high. The manner in which the attorneys are appointed in the United States is a purely political process. This is the reason as to why these officers mostly use their positions while working for the government to launch their political ambitions. This has a significant impact on the criminal justice system because if these officers such as the judges and prosecutors are appointees of political leaders, then they are likely not to be fair when determining cases. They will tend to favor the politicians who helped them to rise to their offices hence directly affecting the criminal justice system (Hagan 2012). Though most people view the judges as being apolitical, in most cases they are not. They are political creatures who are likely to make decisions that favor their political god-fathers. The judges make specific rulings depending on the political climate of that time. When specific issues have political foundations, the judges fear to make certain determinations because they fear the public reactions to the rulings they will make (Hagan 2012).

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