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The Punishment Of Murder In The Uk Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3218 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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A crime specifies that there are constantly changing ideas, perceptions, and conceptions regarding what constitutes criminal behaviour. The topic that is a constant treat to the United Kingdom is what generates a murder to form, what kind of people be liable to perform these unlawful acts and furthermore other characteristics that may be the causation of the crime. Theses are the questions that the UK is prompt with at the moment and looking at these through a criminologist prospective we shall reveal what are the characteristics of unlawful crime of murder and furthermore the if capital punishment that should be indulged upon a murder.

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Murder is defined as ‘The unlawful killing of another human being under the queen’s peace with malice forethought [1] . This definition provides an understanding of what the law states of murder; and furthermore shows that a person needs to have intention of committing murder. But the issue that constitutes is what makes a murderer to commit violent and unlawful acts.

A criminologist would state that the background of the murderers comprise in a murder killing, but there is mainly a combination of factors that help perform these unlawful acts and they are biological, psychological, social, and economic. A criminologist would state that a lower class group or an lower class individual at the age of 16 – 20 tend to commit murders outstanding to the monetary or the social backgrounds and society they perpetrate in but issues are taken into account for mandate is the background reasons that build up unlawful acts of a murderer are a result in a combination of anger, jealously, revenge, pride or greed. But furthermore some murderers of a lower class mandate are a desire for control, revenge, and power. Frequently these factors when endorse is a potential of criminal activities of an individual. A criminologist would state that an incorporation of these factors is behind a person who has the mens rea in committing a crime. Also a murderer shall be classed in accordance to the manner of how the murder was performed and inflicted upon another human being.

The categorical area a murderer is put into is a serial killer, mass murder and spree killer. A serial killer is defined as individuals who have a history of multiple killing of victims who were usually unknown to them beforehand. Their crimes are committed as a result of a pressure that consistently has roots in the killer’s; a serial killer tends to commit a murder crime in one location and it was stated by Holmes and De Burger [2] . [3] Whereas a mass murderer commits murder of multiple numbers of people, this may be performed by a one person or a group of people. [4] The last form of murder killing is spree killing, spree killing is stated as a killing of two or more killing and commit murder in more that one location unlike serial killing and furthermore there is no break between the murders. [5] A murderer tends to commit crimes against a certain individuals for purposeful reasons.

The types of people a murderer would target to victimisation of murder are pensioners for valuable items, it is mainly a sociological reason being money and the reason they may be murdered as they can not be seen as fighting back for they life. A lowers class person between an age group of 16-20 year old are likely to commit crimes and are helpless to getting murdered depending on the crimes they are committing and babies are a constant treat as the current British official statistics on babies’ changeability increasing from a total of 15% in the period of 2008 and 2009 [6] . This shows that babies are targeted as vulnerable victims. Furthermore The British crime statistics show that homicide has been at a high but is dramatically dropping, through out the period of that 2000-2009. The official statistics illustrates the figures decreasing from 1,047 to 615 homicides this shows that most murders have decreased but the factor that needs to be taken into account is that capital punishments were at a high death ratio within that period and the punishments of death penalties have changed dramatically as there are more helping public bodies providing support towards the police stopping a crime of murder before it transpires. Looking at the homicide statistics of crime it is categorised into manslaughter, murder and infanticide, so this does not provide an understanding on how murders tend to be committed without the two categories and does not distinguish how much murders are happening each year. The other factor that is raised from the statistics state that men are mainly being killed at a high level that women as the percentage of men being killed for homicide is 39 % whereas female victims homicide are at a percentage of 11% [7] . This illustrates that men are more likely to be killed than women regarding to murder. Some theorist would state that the results of these deaths come from sociological, biological functionalism theories. The history of theories helps distinguish what is the causation of crime and furthermore the performance of crime.

The theory of functionalism is a theoretical perspective of sociology.  Sociology examines the situations in which people live and how these situations affect them. Some writers may state that the way a person lives should not affect the way a person reacts towards a high crime of murder. Sociology examines the question of why the world is the way that it is. Functionalism looks at society through a functional framework which stresses on everything; the functionalism method is an objective social world with similarity between the individual human being and society. Functionalisms look at the positivity of the society and always see the good in everything [8] . Some theorist may look at the point at looking at society as a positive way, this quote may not please peoples views towards positivity depending on what problematic issues people have been through in the past and furthermore people may not like the way society as treated an individual.

The biological positivist looks at the offender’s persons characteristics, this was popularised by the work of Lombroso [9] . Lombroso attempted to distinguish between different types of human individuals with classification of racial and biological differences. Lombroso wanted to establish a link between criminality by particular traits which correspond to various stages of human evolution. Lombroso stated that a criminal can be identified through a stigma of physical attributes such as, low intellect, high cheekbones and large ears, extra nipples, fingers or toes, an asymmetric jaw and finally tattoos, Lombroso had also stated that these criminals behaved in a different way for example low inability in the following factors, no social and moral issues, no differentiate between right and wrong, no guilt or remorse, no feelings towards other people and no form of any relationship. [10] So if a criminologist would look at Lombroso factors, there would be disagreements to the issues raised by the theorist as the physical features of a human should not be predicted or labeled when born of them physical attributes. This may amount to people being sentences do death without the need of any evidence enclosure. Furthermore people may get the physical features of what was stated by Lombroso as to accidents, which may label a person as being a criminal. So it was tested by Goring [11] on a group and there was no significant behavior but it was criticised that Goring did not have a proper control group and the criminal samples contained mostly mentally disturbed people but he also accepted the fact that the environment does contribute to the growth of criminal behaviour. [12] the legal theorist basically stated that the attributes lead to murder killers, as a result the tattoos where seen has being a issue that was raised and it shows that it as a affect on murders as it provided a understanding of how society use tattoos telling how much murders they have committed and what gang culture they are from for example, the Thailand gangs tend to use tattoos as a symbol for distinguishing what gangs they are from and furthermore the gang reputation.

In conclusion, after looking at the approaches of theorist and why people commit such crimes, it should be considered in real cases on whether or not punishment in the UK is effective or should consider using more fatal punishment similar to Capital punishment.


Robert Mochrie was a middle class worker, whose occupation was taking family photograph, taken when his wife Cathy was awarded a degree at Cardiff University, and also had four children in school. Robert Mochrie had realised that his Mrs Cathy was having another affair with another male sex named David Osborne from south Wales. He had stated that he had an intimate and sexual relationship with Mrs Mochrie. This caused the murders to result in murdering the family as it emotionally and mentally affected Mr. Mochrie to commit an unlawful act of murder.

Mochrie himself, killed the whole family in a hotel, Haverford west in South Wales because he hanged himself after murdering his wife, Cathy, along with Bethan, 10, Luke, 14, Sian, 16, and James, 18, in July last year. It shows that Mr Mochrie had affected the mental thinking which resulted in the actus rea of the crime [13] .

Looking at a criminologist prospective this case distinguishes that Robert Mochrie falls in the definition of a mass murder as an individual committed multiple killing one and if a theorist was to approach this scenario he or she would look at various theories to see what the causation of the crime. A theorist would firstly look at it form the prospective of functionalism theory as it states that as a couple they should stay together and work together, it shows relating back to the scenario that the situation that Robert Mochrie was the issue of Mrs Cathy indulging with someone else whilst in the presences of Mr. Roberts. This had an affect on the mental state has it resulted in committing the brutality of the family annihilation. It shows from the theory that it should look at things in a positive way, but in relation to the scenario Mr. Robert in this case could not take the issue that had happen in a positive way as it affect the thinking of what his wife had done and the mental thinking of Mr. Robert had not been take it into account that his wife would ever sleep with another man after being married and having four children which resulted in not allowing is wife to sleep with another man and in stopping this he committed the unlawful act.

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Whereas looking at another killer like Roaul moat who was a serial killer, Raoul Moat, was 37-year-old man and his occupation was a tree surgeon, bouncer and panel beater but it furthermore stated that Roaul Moat had injected himself with steroids which produced anger problems and had issues with old wife. He was from Newcastle upon Tyne, shot three people with a shot gun after two days after his release from Durham prison for previous convictions he had killed, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, her new partner Chris Brown, and police officer David Rath band. Brown was killed after a man hunt was taken out in Roth bury after and the police tasered Roaul Moat which resulted in him committing suicide with his shotgun. [14] .

If a theorist was to examine Roaul Moat scenario it would be looked at the prospective of biologist as it mainly complies with the theory of Lombroso has the murderer Roaul Moat had the physical characteristics of low intellect, high cheek bones as he was a bodybuilder, who had taken steroids which resulted in him having anger management problems to influence a murder or commit a crime. He’s suitable in the terms of the theory and furthermore Roaul Moat also is adequate with the functionalism theory as there was lack of positivity in Roaul Moat as a criminal record from previous shows and furthermore a previous relationship may have started the chain of causations. Having looked at what may have caused the chain of causation, it should be suggested on whether or not they should be given an imprisonment for life or capital punishment to death.

Capital punishment is a punishment to death and since ancient times it has been used for a wide variety of offences. In England, only major offences carried the death penalty treason, murder, larceny, burglary, rape, and arson and it was stated in Waltham Black Acts, where it increase in the number of people being put to death each year. The statistics the peak year was 1785 with 307 people given a death penalty and furthermore in the year 1800 the population was just 9 million. The reform of death penalty was criticised in Europe 1750’s, by French philosopher Cesare Beccaria and the English law reformer argued that the punishment of death was needlessly cruel has it was irrelevant to crimes like rapes has rehabilitation or other forms of method may have mentally have changed on committing unlawful crimes and looked at a more rational alternative a life imprisonment.

But some writers would state that capital punishment was a preferable way in removing the worst criminals forever from society and helps provide a much safer place for other society users of Britain. Furthermore the dead criminals cannot commit any further crimes.

Furthermore the issue that arise towards death penalty is the issue on monetary being spent on murders and the concern that are raised is the UK does not have an unlimited service, furthermore the government is exploiting money on murder killers rather that people with bigger issues like helping old, young and other people with a illness like cancer, rather than on the long term imprisonment of murderers. Spending money for life time imprisoned murders is not seen has being a real punishment whereas an execution is seen acceptable as retribution is seen by many member states of other countries after seeing the results of the death penalty has had a deterrence on the criminal activity. Issuing a death penalty is much more likely to be a deterrent and it shall have an impact on potential criminality has time to think about the possible consequences. But when a crime is committed on a stand still there is no likelihood that any punishment will act as a deterrent.

A criminologist would specify from the statistics that death penalty really affected Britain economically as a whole, as the death penalty reduced the population of Britain which affects productivity, human kind and furthermore socially but on the other the statistics shows when the act of parliament abolished capital punishment it had a dramatic impact on the numerical people given life on imprisonment. The official statistics show unlawful killings in Britain have more than doubled since abolition of capital punishment the figure for homicides in 2007 was 734 and 6,300 people are currently serving sentences of “life in prison” for murder. From the statistics it shows that life in prison does not really deter people from committing murder as the figures tend to be rising but looking at the reform act it looks at the people closeness between the family and friends taking the impact.

Having Looked at the for arguments towards capital punishment for unlawful killing, some writers would state that there are validated consequences on why a state should not provide capital punishments but more rational punishment. The first issue that a writer may constitute is a person may be innocent and may be executed and there is no possible way of compensating them for this wrongfulness of justice. There is also another significant, a person convicted of the murder may have actually killed the victim but does not admit it is a murder charge it then comes down to the skill of the prosecution and defence lawyers as to whether there will be a conviction for murder or for manslaughter.

A second reason, that is often overlooked, is family and friends of criminals are the time leading up bring of the execution. It is often very difficult for people to come to terms with the fact that their loved one could be guilty of a serious crime and no doubt even more difficult to come to terms with their death in this form. The family should not be affected for the crime someone else committed and should further look at the prospective of the criminals as they are real people too who have right to life and furthermore they incorporate pain, fear and the loss of their loved ones. [15] .

Relating back to the two scenarios of the murderers it can be stated that Roaul Moat should be given capital punishment having killed innocent people of the public and showed no remorse as he carried his criminal activity and furthermore as Roaul moat had already served an prison sentences for previous convictions for a period of couple of years, it shows that Roaul Moat is person who is not changeable if being sent to life in imprisonment, so it would be preferable for a murder of his caliber to be sentenced to death. Looking at the mass murder Mr Mochrie it can would not be relevant to send a person like him to capital punishment as he had a issue of domestic and the life of imprisonment would have rehabilitation his mental stability but him getting a charge of life it could.


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