A Study Of Crime Fell Into The Domain Of Metaphysicians, Penologists And Moralists

1478 Words Jun 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Question 1:

Before the mid-1800’s the study of crime fell into the domain of metaphysicians, penologists, and moralists and it was not until Cesare Lombroso that the study of crime was turned into a biological science (Rafter, 2006). Lombroso’s main focus for the biological school of thought was that criminals do have physical characteristics that are well defined and are distinct when compared to people who abide by the law. In fact, Lombroso believed that born criminals had the physical, mental, and instincts of primitive man (earlier stage of human evolution), which meant these born criminals were unsuited for a civilized society and unless incapacitated they would inevitably violate the social and legal rules (Akers & Sellers, 2013). Essentially there were certain physical anomalies that if an individual possessed Lombroso would consider them a born criminal. However, in order for Lombroso to deem them as a born criminal, males needed to possess five or more physical features while females needed to possess three or more physical features; these physical features include but are not limited to: long arms, excessive cheek bones, large lips, receding chin, and monkey-like ears (Akers & Sellers, 2013). Lombroso’s daughter who helped to continue his work published “if we examine a number of criminals, we shall find that they exhibit numerous anomalies in the face, skeleton, and various psychic and sensitive functions, so that they strongly resemble primitive races…
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