Criminal Justice Theories and Criminological Ideologies

2932 WordsDec 1, 200512 Pages
For many years, people have studied the patterns and lives of serial killers in the effort to establish how they're created. In the 1980's, the mythology of serial killers became to be known to the public through the F.B.I. and the media (Lecture, 9/8/2005). As a society, we often wonder if the idea behind serial killers is just a myth, or if in fact reality. The purpose of this argument is to analyze the "serial killer" myth in America and explain it through four imperative criminological theories. Through our class lectures, we have learned that, "serial killers have set a particular image that is a myth." And also, "serial killers are outside strangers and we need to do everything within our power to stay away from them" (Lecture,…show more content…
The remaining two thirds, are those who we as a society, wouldn't think twice about as being a serial killer. Lombroso labels them as, "criminaloids" or minor offenders, "who do not show such a marked degree of diversity from normal persons" (C&A, 24). Lombroso strongly felt that criminals were anything but normal and lived in their own state of mind. As a result of Lombroso's theory of criminality, it has "helped lay the foundation for what is known as the ‘positive school' of criminology" (C&A, 18). Through the "positive school" of criminology, we have learned crime is not the result of "free-will"; it is ultimately due to underlying factors that the individual has absolutely no control over. If we were to analyze our breadth of knowledge and lead to believe that yes in fact the whole perception of serial killers is in fact a myth, essentially there are not any biological traits associated with a serial killer, and in no way can someone be born a criminal we would be interested in shifting our attention to that of Cesare Beccaria's classical theory of crime. Its central thesis is that "crime occurs when the benefits outweigh the cost and crime is a free-willed choice" (C&A, 5). This theory is highly contrasted and thought to be the exact opposite of that of Cesare Lombroso's
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