Criminal Theory

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Theory Paper
The two theories I have chosen to talk about in this paper are Anti-Social Behavior Theory and Neutralization theory. I’m applying these two theories to the serial killer Ted Bundy. Drawing from his life, childhood, family life, school, college, relationships, where he lived, how he planned his killings, and how they all relate to Anti-Social Behavior and Neutralization theories.

Anti-Social Behavior theory is in relation to Psychopathy and Sociopathy. Anti-Social behaviors include lying, stealing, doing harm to others and being argumentative. People with anti-social behaviors are defined by “A persuasive pattern of disregard for, and violation, of the rights of others that begins in early childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.” (Walsh and Hemmens page 238) People with this disorder are up for greater health risks, for the disorder makes a person be a risk taker, usually engaging in smoking, alcohol, risky sexual behavior’s and drugs. Their also at risk for they are prone to depression, inflicting self-wounds and violent acts towards others. In this state of mind people are emotional, non-cognitive, and have low self-esteem. Making them act out in violent manners.

This behavior is linked to childhood. As a child if something wasn’t right, they were shy or forgotten they probably put on a mask and faked being what society views as normal. They are not connected with society. And they do not understand social norms. They have become experts on faking feelings, and they do not know emotion or empathy. These people are deceitful, manipulative, egocentric, selfish and lacking guilt.

Dealing with regards of crime and Anti-social disorder, the criminals often view that their victims were not “wrong”. Drug users viewing their addiction to a social norm that isn’t there. They do not understand what they are doing is wrong and have no sense of guilt or cognitive thinking process. They do not feel any kind of remorse for the things of which they have done simply because they cannot empathize with the people or actions against which they are offending.

Neutralization theory was created by Skyes and Matza. This theory explains that the offender has a positive view on the crime he or she has committed. Also similar to Anti-Social individuals these criminals view that they have done nothing wrong. Unlike Anti-Social disorder, Neutralization theory states that the offender puts the excuses in their own head, not merely understanding the social norms. There are five techniques that Neutralization theory uses in justifying their crimes.

The first way people neutralize their crimes and actions they have done is called “Denial of Responsibility” which is shifting the blame from the offender to the victim. An example is when a rapist says in court “she was asking for it the way she was dressed and or acting.” They feel absolutely no guilt for the crimes that they have committed. They feel no responsibility at all for the victim and their injuries.

The second technique is called “Denial of Injury”. This is where the offender has no attachment to the crime and has not caused any real injury or offenses. An example of this would be a person breaking a entering and smashing a window in and claiming “the insurance will cover it.”

“Denial of Victim” is the third technique. This is where the offender says the victim received what they deserved, almost viewed as karma. Most domestic cases portray this, saying significant other or victim got what they deserved from these actions.

The fourth technique is “Condemnation of the Condemners” where the offender states part of the blame on the condemners. These condemners are police, parents, probation officers, etc. An example of this would be the criminal blaming the officer for planting evidence on them or the crime scene and not taking any of the responsibility that it was there’s.

Number five is “Appeal to a Higher Loyalty”. This is where the...
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