Crime Theories Term Paper Example
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There are different factors that contribute to human conduct. Human behavior especially those related to criminal behavior can be explained theoretically. Many theories have been advanced to explain an individual’s propensity to commit crime. Classical theory, positivist theory, multifactor theory, neoclassical theory and the sociological theory attempt explain the reason for the delinquency in some individuals and not in others. This paper will focus on Skylar Deleon, the crime he committed and the theoretical explanations that can be advanced to explain his criminal behavior. This paper will analyze the possible causes of the crime committed by skylar Deleon.
Skylar Deleon was born in 1979 in Arizona in the United States. He was a child actor appearing in many episodes but his career hit a deadlock when he could no longer remember the script allocated to him (Siegel, L. 2011 Pg. 296). He was born to John Jacobson and Lynette Birchette. The father was a drug dealer and the mother was a drug addict from her teenage days and she was abused as a child. The mother abandoned him at young age and his father subjected him to sexual and physical abuse. At the age of 20 he joined the marine but disappeared after 15 days in the marine and was discharged dishonorably.
Skylar Deleon committed the murder of Jackie and Thomas Hawks. He had disguised himself as a purchaser after the couple had advertised the sale of their Yatch. He used his pregnant wife and son to make the couple believe that he was a genuine a purchaser (Associated Press, 2009). With the help of other accomplices, they forced the couple to sign a sale agreement and killed the couple in the process. Skylar and his wife were convicted of murder. Deleon had also been convicted in 2003 over the killing of Jon Jarvi. He had also made plans to have his father and a cousin killed by some inmates.
The real question, therefore, is what might have motivated the offender to commit these crimes. There may be a relationship between his relationship with the parents and his criminal tendencies as an adult. It may also be possible that his actions were due to a free will and that his relationship with the parents has no bearing in his delinquent behavior. There are many factors that contribute to the commission of crime.
There are theories that can be advanced to explain the propensity of Skylar to commit crimes. This was not his first time in committing a crime. He had been convicted of burglary before where he served a term in prison. The sociological theory explains his conduct. The place and the social group in which an individual lives influence their behavior (Ministry of Justice, 2009). Under this theory, unlike the positivist theory which believes that it is the nature of criminals to be criminals, certain behaviors are acquired from the social setup. The social setup is an important factor in determining whether individuals will acquire criminal tendencies or not. This means that if the social setup is disorganized and delinquencies common the people living in that social setup are likely to develop delinquent tendencies. In the case of Skylar Deleon, the environment in which he lived may have contributed to his criminal behavior.
The father was a drug dealer and the mother a drug addict. This social setup laid the foundation for his criminal conduct. The criminal conduct of the father and the abuse that he went through may have contributed towards his violent tendencies and, therefore, the likelihood to commit crimes.
The practices used by the parent to bring up children have a psychological effect on the child. It inculcates a social culture that increases the propensity of crime. For example, a child who experienced less abuse as a child is not likely to develop delinquent tendencies. However, a child brought up in a violent home where abuse is common, is likely to develop delinquent tendencies.
Skylar Deleon was also abused as a child. This may have also led him into criminal conduct. The characters that he acquired from the social environment had a bearing on his future behaviors. His instability and love for crime may have been a result of the problems that he went through as a child. Skylar Deleon had been abandoned by the mother who was a drug addict. The poor social setting may have been contributed to his violent tendencies that may have led him to the commission of crimes. The unstable childhood may have contributed to the criminal behavior of the offender. The maladjustments that existed during the offender’s childhood moved with him to childhood (Ministry of Justice, 2009). The social maladjustments during the childhood may have been a factor in the delinquent behavior of the offender.
The sociological theory cannot, therefore, be dismissed in explaining the conduct of offenders. Despite its existent shortcomings, the theory explains the conduct of Skylar Deleon and especially his serial criminal activities.
The classical theory can also be used to explain the conduct of the offender. This theory is based on the principle of utility. This theory claims that criminals commit crime because they believe that such an action would result into more pleasure than pain. Under this theory the offender knows that the rewards for the offence outweigh the harm that will be occasioned even if the offender is caught. The classical theory claims that people who commit crimes exercise free will (Agnew, R. 2004, pg 2). It claims that there are no other external influences on the conduct of the individual. Pleasure over pain is the main determinant in determining the actions of an individual.
Skylar Deleon had been convicted before in a matter relating to killing. He was however, not put on a serious punishment. This may explain his tendency to commit further crimes. He did not anticipate that the pain would outweigh the pleasure. The offender together with other accomplices committed the offence in order to get financial rewards.
The criminal believed that he was not going to be caught. If he had anticipated being caught in the crime, he would never have proceeded to commit the crime of murder. He had assessed the utility of his actions. The main guiding factor under this principle is pleasure over pain. The appreciation of potential harm would have been a deterrent factor. The offender would have not committed the offence if he knew that the punishment that would follow would be more serious than the financial rewards. The offender was a seasoned delinquent and he had not received a deterrent punishment from his criminal activities. This lack of regulation may have made the offender believe that he would commit the offence and suffer not greater harm. Most criminals believe that they will not b caught in the course of their activities. The preparation laid out by the offender was intended to cover up for the crime. His idea of forcing the couple to sign a sale agreement before killing them was intended to protect his from prosecution. He knew that no punishment would follow even if he committed the offence. The offence of murder had not been contemplated by the offender. The punishment of death sentence may have been deterrent to the criminal.
The offence of killing the Hawks couple was motivated by purely financial interest. He wanted to finance a sex exchange as explained by the defense lawyers. The classical theory, theory, therefore explains the conduct of Skylar Deleon. It is true that he was brought up in an unstable home which may have been a factor in his propensity but the urge for financial reward was the greatest motivation in the killing of the Thomas and Jackie Hawk couple.
The multifactor theory can also be used to explain the conduct of the offender. The multifactor theory claims that there is interplay of factors that contribute to the commission of crimes (Bura, R. 2012). There is no single theory that can be used to explain the conduct the offender. This theory addresses the faults that exist when one theory is used in explaining the criminal conduct of the offender. The offender had a violent past which alludes to a sociological theory as the best theory to explain the delinquency. However, his actions are motivated by financial rewards. This supports the classical theory of crime. The offender had also been an actor at quite a young age and joined the marines at 20. All these factors must be considered in determining his propensity to commit a crime (Bura, R. 2012). A one theory fit all approach may not be the appropriate way of explaining the criminal conduct of the offender.
The sociological theory fails to fully explain the behavior of the offender. Skylar Deleon suffered sexual and physical abuse from the father. He had also been abandoned by the father. If this were the reasons for his criminal conduct, his actions would have related to these actions. He could have developed violent behavior such as assault, rape and general violent crimes that are not necessarily linked to financial rewards. The crimes he committed including the murder of Jon Jorvi were financial committed. It was executed in almost the same manner as the murder of Thomas and Jackie. His criminal actions are motivated by financial rewards. He is guided by the principle of pleasure over pain. His killings are meticulously planned. Though the killing is violent, his actions do not relate fully with his violent childhood. The classical theory, therefore, best explains the conduct of the offender. He exercised his free will in killing the victims. He was guided by the utility principle. The offender knew that the possibility of being caught and heavily punished was minimal. The sociological theory would only be fully applicable if the offender exercised violent activities without expecting financial rewards. The multifactor theory, therefore, is the single theory that can explain the conduct of the offender.
Associated Press (2009) .Former 'Power Rangers' Actor Sentenced to Death in Yacht Killings. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/04/10/former-power-rangers-actor-sentenced-to-death-in-yacht-killings/
Ministry of Justice.(2009). Theories of the Causes of Crime. Strategic Policy Brief , Retrieved from http://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector/drivers-of-crime/publications-and-background-information/documents/spb-theories-on-the-causes-of-crime
Siegel, L (2011) Criminology
Bura R (2012) Notes on Multiple-factor Approach (Theories of Criminal Behaviour), Retrieved from http://www.preservearticles.com/2012050131540/notes-multiple-factor-approach-theories-of-criminal-behaviour.html
Agnew, R (2004) Criminology: An Overview, Retrieved from http://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c04/e6-99-25.pdf
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