Crime and Punishment
Nature or Nurture
Since the beginnings of the
study of genetics many have
argued that criminal behaviour
could be explained by the
presence of certain genes.
Do we have any
February 1991, Toney
Mobley walked into a
Pizza store in Gainesville
USA, emptied the till
and put two bullets
through the back of the
He had been out of control
since the age of 11.
He had been to a series of schools
and psychologists and none of them
could do anything with him.
By the time he murdered the
bank manager of the Pizza
store, he had already done
six other robberies and had
a history of theft and
In court, Tony’s cousin stood up him his
defence. She said Tony never stood a
•His grandfather was violent and abuse.
•A great uncle went to jail for murder.
•His cousins were also violent. One beat up
his wife with a gun and one let his friends
rape his two daughters.
His great grandmother was also violent
and beat up her daughter in law!
• Therefore it was argued, Tony’s violence
was inherited from his relatives and his
action could be blamed on genes. There
was nothing he could do…
He was a Natural Born Killer !
Can Tony’s violence be blamed on his Genes?
Do you believe that he inherited his violence
from his family?
Do you think there are people who are natural
Stephen Anthony Mobley
Executed March 1, 2005 08:00 p.m.
by Lethal Injection in Georgia
Any other evidence?
Perhaps it is our experiences as we grow up?
Feral children, also known as wild
children or wolf children, are
children who've grown up with
minimal human contact, or even none
at all. They may have been raised by
animals (often wolves) or somehow
survived on their own. In some cases,
children are confined and denied
normal social interaction with other
Isabel Quaresma, the Chicken
Girl of Portugal
Confined to a hen coop
Isabel Quaresma was born in 1970
in Tabua, Portugal, to a mentally
deficient mother, Isabel was the
only one of three children not
fathered by a family member. When
she was found in January 1980 at
the age of nine, she had spent the
last eight years shut in a hen-coop.
Isabel Quaresma: rescued but
Neighbours had been aware of the
situation, but no one had deemed it
necessary to interfere in what was
seen as a family matter.
It appears Isabel Quaresma was
eventually taken at the insistence of
a neighbour to various hospitals,
where she underwent some tests, but
was subsequently returned to live
with her mother and the man with
whom she co-habited.
How was she affected by these
•Isabel Quaresma's growth was seriously
•She was not toilet-trained,
•She couldn't talk.
•She held her arms in the position of
hens' wings, and the palms of her hands
•She had been fed on scraps; the same
food as the hens received.
•One eye was affected by a cataract
and there was some speculation whether
that had been caused by a hen scratch.
Isabel makes very little progress
Eventually she was taken to an institution for
18 years later…
• Isabel had not grown much and made little
•She could understand simple orders, but if asked
to fetch two items, would only understand one
request and return with one item.
•Her mental age was estimated at about two.
•Physically, she had learnt to walk, but still
suffered a delicate stomach. Not surprisingly, she
still couldn't talk.
What do these examples imply
• People and their behaviour?
• Crime, Punishment and Society?
The Human Genome Project
• In Feb 2001 Scientists discovered that there
were not enough genes to “programme” us.
• We are more likely to be formed by our
• This scientific discovery supports those who
believe that “criminals” can change because
they were not born like that.
• It throws us back on ourselves to create a
crime free society.
So, what about crime in our society?
• Street crime ,muggings, violence, gangs,
juvenile crime, murder and theft have always
existed, and some crimes are actually less
common than they used to be. For example
murder has been declining since the middle
• In the 20th century, the murder rate was 20 per
100,000 of the population, now it is 1 per
Crime figures need very careful
Many believe the media is to blame
sensationalising crime and causing fear.
• Do crimes such as rape, child abuse, and
domestic violence, appear to be rising simply
because people are more willing to report them?
• Do crime figures fluctuate because the police
change the way they record them?
• Do crime figures rise in wealthier societies just
because there is more to steal?
• Most “criminals” are young men from
lower socio-economic groups
• Many have been brought up in run-down
inner city areas, where dreadful housing
, under-resourced schools and hospitals
, organised crime, unemployment,
homelessness, poverty, drug abuse and
violence are the order of the day.
• More crime is committed in very unequal
societies where some groups are discriminated
against or feel that they have little to lose by
embarking on a life of crime.
• It is true that some crime rates are rising but
the increases affect the poor much more than
• For instance in some parts of London an Asian
person is 50 times more likely to be attacked
than a white person.
• Most crime involves poor people robbing other
“Bang up” Culture
• Britain imprisons more of its people than
any other in Western Europe.
• In 2001 the chief inspector of British
prisons condemned the “degradation and
immorality of the way British prisons were
run, saying that he was no longer prepared
to keep apologizing for the “hell holes” of
Crime and Punishment
In any society there needs to be rules/laws
No point in laws if they can’t be enforced
What happens when people break laws?
System of punishment.
• Severity of punishment reflects the seriousness
of the law that is broken
Punishments can vary
Community service order
The Purpose of Punishment
revenge- for a past
wrong, the lex talionis.
(The simplest expression of
lex talionis is the biblical
injunction of "eye for eye,
tooth for tooth" in Exodus
• Deterring others from breaking laws
• Protecting society from law breaker
• Reparation- making up (clean slate)
• Reformation – to bring about a change in
Methods Used Worldwide
There are 7 main methods of
execution in current use worldwide:
• Hanging: if properly conducted, this is a
humane method. The neck is broken and death
•However, if the free-fall distance is
inadequate, the prisoner ends up slowly being
strangled to death. If it is too great, the rope
will tear his/her head off.
• Electric chair: Nobody knows for sure
how quickly a person dies from the
electric shock, or what pain they
burned. It can
often take a few
the person is
•Firing squad: The prisoner is bound and shot
through the heart by multiple marksmen. Death
appears to be quick, assuming the killers don't miss.
In the U.S., only Utah used this method. It was
abandoned in favour of lethal injection on 2004-
MAR-15, except for four convicted killers on death
row who had previously chosen death by firing squad.
•Poison gas: Cyanide is dropped into acid producing
Hydrogen Cyanide, a deadly gas. This takes many
minutes of agony before a person dies.
• Lethal injection: Lethal drugs are injected into the
prisoner while he lays strapped down to a table. If
properly conducted, the prisoner fades quickly into
unconsciousness. If the dosage of drugs is too low, the
person may linger for many minutes, experiencing
paralysis. Executions in the U.S. are gradually shifting
to this method. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfiaDkK
• Guillotine + Be-heading: A famous French
invention. It severs the neck. Death comes very
quickly (but very messy). (Be-heading in many
• Stoning: The prisoner is often buried up to her or
his neck and pelted with rocks until they eventually
die. The rocks are chosen so that they are large
enough to cause significant injury to the victim, but
are not so large that a single rock will kill the
prisoner. Used in some Muslim/ African countries as a
penalty for murder, adultery and other crimes.
From Times Gone by
• Burning at the stake in public was used in Britain
to punish heresy and in some cases witchcraft,
committed by either sex, but latterly for women
convicted of High Treason or Petty Treason.
The garrotte (or garotte) was
the standard civilian method of
execution in Spain.
•Hung, Drawn and Quartered - This was the ultimate
punishment available in English law for men who had
been convicted of High Treason. Women were burned
at the stake instead, apparently for the sake of
The full sentence passed upon
those convicted of High Treason up
to 1870 was as follows :
“That you be drawn on a hurdle to
the place of execution where you
shall be hanged by the neck and
being alive cut down, your privy
members shall be cut off and your
bowels taken out and burned before
you, your head severed from your
body and your body divided into
four quarters to be disposed of at
the King’s pleasure.” So not for the
Status of the death penalty worldwide as of 2005-NOV:
Status of the death penalty worldwide as of 2005-NOV:
Blue: Abolished for all crimes
Green: Abolished for crimes not committed in
exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed
in time of war)
Orange: Abolished in practice
Red: Legal form of punishment for heinous offences.
It is important to realise that the definition of heinous
offences varies greatly around the world. In some
states of the U.S., the death penalty is restricted to
multiple murderers. Engaging in Pre-marital sex or
changing one's religion can be a capital offence in
For Thursday 27th Aug
• What is the purpose of punishment? 4 KU
• “Capital punishment is still legal in the
United States of America”
Describe in detail two methods of