Saturday, October 24, 2015

Examining the Causation of Crime:Man Stabbed to Death on White Rock Trail in Dallas

ABC news depict the story of a young man who hacks another person to death with a machete in a fit of rage (ABC, 2015). Although there were witnesses who also called the police, reportedly the man called the police on himself after the fact. He claimed he was enraged that he was recently evicted from his residence (ABC, 2015). The defendant has no previous violent history, though he was charged with burglary last year (ABC, 2015). Apparently he formerly played football for Dallas Skyline High School in 2012 and ran away for three days (ABC, 2015).
My impression was that the person must have pretty out of their mind to want to hack someone to death with a machete. That is a very violent and up close type of murder, in contrast to say a shooting which you can do from yards away. I also felt in the video news report there was an emphasis made on the fact that the man was generally well liked, mannered, and played football (ABC, 2015). I felt the emphasis on his football history was a little out of place. I am assume they mentioned it in connection with a previous story that made the media involving the man disappearance from a football game a few years back. I think they inserted this information to indicate a pattern of bizarre behavior.  
The purpose of the storied portrayed is to inform the public of the recent murder, but also inform them on the facts about the murderer and victim. The crime was portrayed as random or unexpected. It was also portrayed as an act of rage. The criminal justice system in Texas was portrayed as harsh. The report mentions that in Texas there is a high probability of the death penalty.
The defendant was recently kicked out of his house and had previously been arrested for burglary. This seems to indicate to me there was some financial struggle that was weighing on him. This expression of financial strain in conjunction with his admission that he was enraged because of the loss of his residence makes radical criminology theory seem like a plausible explanation of his behavior. Radical criminology theory blamed the causation of crime on the unequal distribution of wealth and power in society (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 97). This theory argued that those who disenfranchised were more likely to have pent up frustrated feelings that lead them to crimes like rape, theft, and murder (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 97).
Another potential causation of this crime might be in imbalance in neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Serotonin inhibits the effect of “irritating experiences that might otherwise result in anger and aggression” (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 83). Low serotonin levels can result from something as simple like ingesting toxic pollutants like “lead and manganese” or from a genetic variation, such as men with an extra Y chromosome (Schmalleger, 2014, p. 83). I suggested the imbalance of chemicals because he has no previous violent history, is generally regarded a likeable. An imbalance would account for sudden deviation from that pattern of behavior.