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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2760
Professor
Leon Kuczynski
Semester
Winter

Description
HOMICIDE WEEK ONE 1/14/2013 4:04:00 PM DAVIES CHAPTER 16 The Impact of Homicide  Murder and references to killing are used in our everyday language (i.e. “I’m going to murder you” or “ Our team is going to slaughter yours “)  Also murder is all around us like in video games, books, the media, board games (i.e. clue) etc. Homicide Survivors  Homicide survivors or co-victims refer to the family members and friends of murder victims  These people are not included in the victimization surveys by the FBI because then number of people included in this statistic would be over 28 million homicide survivors  In comparison to those that lose loved ones by accident, homicide survivors experience deeper and longer lasting trauma  They also have to deal with (1) knowing that someone willfully took their loved ones life (2) the hate and anger for the murderer (3) the press invading their privacy and maybe showing he unloved one in an unfavorable light (4) deal with the social stigma and isolation of having the loved one murdered (5) have to go through the criminal justice process where they can feel pushed aside (6) less murders are cleared now then in the past and therefore they may have to deal with the fact that the murderer will go unpunished  Feelings of homicide survivors include: fear, anger, helplessness, survivors guilt, PTSD(more common in homicide survivors than losing a loved one by accident), rage, anxiety; physical symptoms: headaches, sleeping problems, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal problems  The stress of losing a child often results in divorce  Families torn when murderer and victim are related  Research indicates that prayer, church attendance, anti-depressants fail to reduce pain or decrease PTSD in survivors and that support groups can help  Financial impact of survivors can occur or loss of status if they have to pay medical bills, or miss work to attend criminal proceedings etc. Survivors and the Criminal Justice System  Crimes in the US and Canada are seen as crimes against the state not the individual and victims role is marginal (minimal)  Co-victims that go through the justice system can feel helpless because they are not informed about the investigation as they could be suspects, the media can ask intrusive questions, there is a lot of attention on the offender rather than the victim and their family  Higher rate of depression for victims families that have gone to trial than those whose cases are unsolved Victim’s Rights Movement  During the 1970s  Feminists made progress for battered women shelters and rape shield laws  Robert and Charlotte Hullinger founded Parents of Murdered Children in 1978 after their daughter was killed by her bf  MADD and POMC teamed up to fight for the rights of the victims  Regan appointed the Task Force on Victims of Crime which lead to the passage of the Victim’s of Crime Act (VOCA)  VOCA provides programs and compensation for victims Victim Assistance Programs  1972 Carol Vittert witnessed robbery and took care of the victim which then lead to her starting the first US assistance program Aid for Victims of Crime  1974 programs expanded and there were government based victim assistant programs  much has improved because now (1) there is more care when notifying victims about their loved ones passing (2) they can have more say in the case in some jurisdictions like sentencing (3) the families are more kept up to date for the trial and what is going on  victims have eight rights (1) protection from accused (2) notice of public court, parole and if the accused is released (3) right to attend the public court proceedings (4) right to speak at speak at the public proceedings (5) talk to the government’s attorney about the case (6) timely payment of any restitution (7) reasonably speedy process (8) privacy, fair treatment  Laura’s Law: make parole hearings public and updated information on incarcerated inmates; in Ohio because Laura’s killer didn’t have anyone at the parole hearing and no one knew of his release Victim Compensation  Margery Fry in the 1950s was the first to come up with this  Compensation to victims for what they lost in the crime (at first it was just to the victims in need now they are compensated just for being victimized)  Typically maximum is 25000 that a victim can receive and funding is often only to victims that have been through serious crime with physically injuries or emotional trauma (homicide co-victims count for this too)  Funding is used for clean up of scene, medical attempts of reviving loved one, funeral costs etc.  To receive this funding often you have to make a report and cooperate with the police and you cannot have taken apart in the crime yourself Victim Impact Statements  Introduced as apart of the victims of crime movement and allowed victims to give input about how the crime has affected them  Psychologists said that people that had a chance to give their input in court felt better than those that didn’t  Presented during sentencing Restorative Justice  Bringing the offender, victim and public together to try and repair the wrongdoings of the offender and reintegrate them back in society  Mostly by aboriginals and belief from the bible  They believe that before the offender can be reintegrated back into society they must understand the pain that they have caused and the harm then have done  Some people say that it is better for the victim as they can say exactly how they were impacted and affected by the offender where as the US judicial system re-victimizes the victim by only letting them answer questions the attorneys ask and not letting them voice how it affected them Cost of Homicide  Lost output refers to the paid and unpaid labour that the victims can no longer do  The cost of homicide includes medical costs, lost output and intangible (not criminal justice costs like investigating prosecuting and housing the convicted) Murderer’s Family  They suffer almost the same as the victim (stress, emotional distress, stigma, insensitive media etc.)  The loss of a loved on to incarceration and sometimes suicide  Financial stress as they lose the income of the accused, may want to attend court hearings and therefore miss work, and may lose money to provide defense support  Offender’s family may be isolated and stigmatized or sought out because they are related to the murderer; loss of privacy as media might camp our in front yard or try and dig up information on the family  Parents may be blamed for the actions of the offender and similarly may feel responsible for their child  Hard to find support groups because of the stigma  Family of offender may experience denial or anger/betrayal  Children of murderers may have to deal with abandonment along with a change in life style Criminal Justice Personnel and Reporters  People that investigate murder go through a lot of stress (emotional and physical) because they see the scene first hand, work long hours, are not allowed to talk about it with their loved ones, feel that it is there responsibility to solve the murder and avenge the lost life  Cause relationship problems  Defense attorneys may find it difficult to deal with the fact they are helping free murderers, prosecution and court officials may feel the same pressure as investigators to put away the criminal and see the violent images Serving as a Juror in a Murder Trial  Can suffer anxiety, headaches and PTSD  Stress that your verdict will determine the rest of this person’s life Fascination with Homicide  AAMEN is a group that works towards showing he serious nature of homicide; that it is not what society portrays it to be in movies and video games or even the news  They want to raise awareness of what really goes on and for the news stories to show the impact of the murders  People in communities feel for the families and friends that are impacted by homicide even if they didn’t know them before Murderabilia  Memorabilia of murders and murderers such as autographs, art work and more  This is an insult to victims and their families because the killer could ultimately be making money off their crime and the suffering of the victim  This is another way that our society is glamourizing murder and not focusing the attention on the suffering of the victim Son of Sam’s Laws  A law that was passed in 1977 to prohibit murderers from making money off books and written material about their crime (if they were written the profits would go to help the victims)  This was appealed because it was too broad and therefore people like Malcolm X wouldn’t be able to profit from the crime stories  Now only convicted offenders cannot profit from the stories if they are directly related to the crime that they were convicted for  Murder wall; pay 50 to get name of child that was murdered on a plague and put on the website linked to memorials of them (POMC) DAWN SPEERS  Stress and agony came back when the murderer put an application in to have day parole  Homicide survivor that got breast cancer and the doctor told her that the stress from the murder was a contributing factor (not only physical effects but mental) KATHRYN MARTIN  Accepted into homicide squad in 1999 (one of two women)  Lead investigator for 8 years  The effects of homicide on investigators  Ended with unit commander  Notifications to the families is the worst even if it is a bad guy because they still have someone who loves them (mother or father or sister etc.)  A lot of the time if there is no explanation for the murder of their love one or the explanation is so irrational so they blame someone aka the investigator or the cop  The cops and investigators “shoulder it” and accept that they are going to get blamed but that doesn’t stop the work that is being done  Worst thing for a family is a not guilty verdict (sometimes take a plea but this diminishes the role of the victims life)  Very difficult job physically (staying awake; need to keep the same people there for the flow of information) and toll on your family BATTERED WIFE DEFENSE  Ms. Lavallee and Mr. Rust were in a common law relationship; he beat her and she went to the hospital many times  They hosted a party and he chased her outside; there was screaming and two gun shots; Ms. Lavallee shot him twice; one missing him and the second entering the back of his head killing him as he was walking about of the room  She said that he claimed he was going to kill her when everyone left  Psychiatrist tested to the fact that she felt vulnerable and helpless and that this was a desperate act because she felt that she would die if she didn’t do something about it  The doctors and coroner said that the bruising on her and him was consistent with him beating her  Was appealed because they said that the psychiatrists testimony unfairly swayed the jury and then went to the SCC that issued the dismissal because of battered wife syndrome  Changes the requirement of imminent danger so that battered spouses that are threatened can use self defense if there is a long history of battery  HOMICIDE WEEK TWO 1/14/2013 4:04:00 PM  GANNON Introduction  Differences between national data sources, both for police reported and victimization surveys have hampered accurate cross national comparisons  Internet has helped grow this misinformation  Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics undertaken the feasibility of comparing police reported stats between Canada and the US  Many crimes are never reported or detected by the police and therefore police reported crime under estimates the amount of crime esp. in incidents of sexual assault or rape  American Nation Crime Victimization Survey ( ANCVS) and the Canadian General Social Survey (CGSS) can estimate both reported and non reported crimes by doing house anonymous victimization surveys  safe to assume the rate of reportability is similar among both countries Police Reported Data- The uniform Crime Reporting Surveys  both countries collect police reported data using tow Uniform Crime Reporting  (1) aggregate UCR survey; based on aggregated counts of offences number of :reported incidents, unfounded incidents, founded (actual) incidents, incidents cleared by charge or otherwise and persons arrested and charged by sex Canadians collects offence and charge data on 106 different offences while the US captures only 8 and 21 additional ones on arrest  (2) incident-based survey; detailed information on each criminal incident, victim and offender covers more offences then (1) Canada being 140 and US being 46 Canada only has 53% coverage nad the US only has 15%  both incidents follow the serious offence rule meaning that they most serious offence is categorized and the less serious ones are suppressed FOX ET AL. IN Reader; Explaining the Will to Kill  criminologists ask; why do people kill one another?  In order to solve the problem we need to know where the problem stems from  Even if the reason for the person’s behavior doesn’t determine guilt or innocence it may still determine the severity of the punishment (i.e. neglect and child abuse)  The difference between homicide and aggravated assault is that one results in death and one does not but the characteristics of both victim and offender are similar  Randolph Roth; American crime rates are in part a function of weak public faith in government and little trust in elected officials The Devil Made me Do it  2 major schools of thought and before the 1800s and scientific criminological theories there was a belief in the super natural and demonic possession for everything  supernatural phase lead to witch hunts and brutal executions such as burning at the stake and boiling in oil to extract a confession of contorting with the devil th  Classical school of thought came about in the mid 18 century that brought about rational choice and thought and that people were responsible for their own actions Back to the Classics  1800s; classical criminology; Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria; rational choice and free will  crime is a rational choice by the offender who choses to kill with free will  think that people outweigh the costs and benefits before they commit the homicide or illegal act  people that took these risks would then have to suffer the consequences implemented by the government (that would be fair and proportional to the crime)  this theory did not consider individual cases such as drug, alcohol and mental illness and lost momentum in the late 1800s when immigration, urbanization and industrialization increased (showing that classical criminology wasn’t working)  comeback in the 1970s as rational choice theory  Katz said that these people were defending their own moral beliefs gaining respectability in regards to situations that they were humiliated in  Have to consider the emotional benefits that the murderer may receive (i.e. a doctor that secretly kills his patients may feel superior Using Science to Explain Violence th  late 19 century positivism; using scientific observation and measurement to explain criminal behavior  Positivists say that it is external factors that affect people and cause criminal behavior including murder (biological, psychological and sociological)  Criminology is a soft science; there is no certainties just possibilities and likelihoods Biology then and Now  Early times ; Physiognomy; the study of facial features and Phrenology; the study of bumps on the head (skull feelings)  Phrenology seemed to have some validity but didn’t know what came first the bumps or the symptoms (what caused what) and therefore don’t know the relationship between violence and testosterone levels, PMS and head trauma  Lombroso (father of modern criminology) came out with a book called The Criminal Man, where he studied Italian prisoners and came up with certain characteristics that were similar among the people that committed the same crimes  He believed that people were born criminals and said they were atavists which meant they were a throwback to primitive times (based on Darwins evolutionary theory and his book the Original Man  The idea that would could tell if someone was a criminal by their physical features was called stigmata  Dugsdale and Goddard came up with studies to try and prove that violence was inherited or through physical appearance but their studies were discredited  Sheldon created the somatotypes in which he discovered that mesomorph was the most likely to commit murder (i.e. muscular, athletic build)  There has been research that antidepressants such as Prozac have been associated with those that commit murder especially in younger boys but this is usually not spontaneous and there are warning signs prior to being prescribe the medicine  This shows that maybe the drug lower their inhibitions but not necessarily cause them to murder  Violent boys with low cortisol levels (hormone that is release on the onset of fear) are reported to be the meanest boys in the classroom and therefore could be a biological condition of boys more prone to murder  Other research involves testosterone levels  XYY are known as super males and were once thought to be prone to crime after Richard Speck was falsely accused of having this condition  It includes long extremities, mild mental retardation, tallness and facial acne  They are more prone to being discriminated based on the way that they look rather than what they are capable of  Similarities among victims; traumatic brain injury, physical abuse, alcohol dependency and criminal life style increased the risk of being murdered  There are biological effects that can allow people to be most prone to violence but they are not a destiny because they may have to be triggered in their surround environment  This type of theory and implications can then affect because in the past we have instilled eugenics which is when people would be sterilized or euthanized because of their genes  Now less aggressive but could have medications and vitamins; but could we make people take these involuntarily or require them to be medicated ? also can we hold people accountable for their actions if it is biological Psychological Causes of Violence  Early childhood; some do not form human bonds because of abuse and therefore become violent and desensitized  psychopathy; defined by personality traits  sociopathy; combination of personality traits and behaviors  both have been put under the umbrella of antisocial personality disorder  ethology; the study of animals in their environment has shown that animals are violent by nature and this could then be applied to humans as well  Lorenz said that since we evolved from violent animals we could be predisposition to this behavior  Fromm argued instrumental aggression; violence as a means to an end; the need to have it for survival  Expressive aggression; violence for its own sake; is a whole different story in Fromms eyes; that it is not instinctual but a response in the failure of society to satisfy the basic needs of humans  others says that it is a cycle and that people who are adventure seekers and risk takers like to satisfy their boredom this way and the response that they receive from others makes them more isolated and angry and therefore act out more aggressively  Daly and Wilson said that we have self-interested genes and therefore are less likely to kill those that are close to us vs those that aren’t; i.e. stepfamilies are more prone to violence then those traditional families  Mental illness and homicide could have a link but could be spurious because mental illness can cause anger, hostility or allow them to self medicate and therefore lead to violence; as well they are more prone to be abused as children  Paraphilia’s can then lead to criminal behavior such as necrophilia and pedophilia (sex with dead people and children)  People with low IQs would be sterilized In some states because of feeblemindedness and the connection with crime  If people have lower IQs they may not know the difference between right and wrong, cannot evaluate their decisions as good, be frustrated with not being able to gain jobs or good enough marks in school to continue leading to poverty and therefore violence to gain material through other unconventional means The Social Sources of Murder  Sociological factors that affect you (i.e. neighborhoods, poverty, learning and lack of bonds )  Began with looking at the high crime rates in the lower class urban areas  Social disorganization theory; base violent crime on these high areas of social disorganization and whoever lives there will be subjected to higher rates of crime; explains low class crime and street crime but not middle class crime  Replace disorder by adding street lights, breaking down abandon houses, increasing police presence, neighborhood cleanups  Downward mobility: the very process of losing economic ground; may be felt by everyone because it is an individuals feeling of deprivation  baby boomers are the most likely to feel this even where the unemployment rate is low  the gap between the rich and the poor has been widening since 1970s shrinking the middle class  national level unemployment rates have little to do with murder but places with high inequality rates of income also have high murder rates  recently though homicide rates have declined in the US  high unemployment rates; people feel that everyone is in the same boat and sinking with them but high inequality rates of income they feel deprived because people are seen as have and have nots and therefore an injustice Strain Frustration and Murder  Yale University lead to the frustration-aggression hypothesis that states that all frustration leads to some sort of aggression and all aggression is preceded by some sort of frustration  therefore anything that interferes with the movement towards a goal, ill inevitably lead to the expression of aggression (including murder)  frustration is not always followed with aggression, but when is it? When we are drinking, don’t care what people think, can get away with it, little or no police around, or when it is extreme  people are more likely to develop coping skills then resort to aggression after frustration  aggression doesn’t always come from frustration either; (i.e. solider ordered to kill, youth killing cause they saw it on tv or mob leader killing someone cause they were paid)  Stuart Palmer researched inmates and their brothers and found that the inmates experienced more frustration in their lives than their brothers which showed how frustration was a contributing factor  Robert Agnew: General Strain Theory; criminal violence is a result from frustration and strain but also leads to fear, disappointment and anger  Four sources of strain (1) the presence of a negative stimuli (child abuse, school failure and physical punishment) (2) the removal of a positive stimuli (death of a loved one or divorced parents) (3) relative deprivation: peers that make more money or get better grades because of their “connections” (4) failure to achieve desired goals (i.e. missing out on success because of lack of educational opportunities)  Merton: focused on strain as resulting from a study with the US saying that they have these high goals and idea od material success, but some people do not have legitimate means to attain them and therefore feel frustration  These people then are called innovators as they accept the goals of society but reject the conventional means to attain them (i.e. resort to illegal activity) Cultural Deviance  That crime doesn’t result from strain but what you are taught growing up  these rules and teaching could be different from the law and therefore people engage in crime when they think that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing  subcultures form and people are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour because that is what is expected of them and results in higher respect and prestige in their community  (explains why black, young males in poverty, a
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