Crime is an unfortunate part of many people’s lives – both for the victim of the crime and also the suspect. There are many theories as to why crimes happen, who commits the crimes, and why crimes happen to certain people. Not all crimes can be solved, or questions answered but these theories give a peek into the thinking or background behind some crimes that are committed. Social process theory believes that individuals are socially conditioned into or against crime (Siegel, “Social Process Theory”).
Negative family relationships, limited education or association with others who have little or not respect for the law, can have a significant impact on a person’s life. The case of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian, is a perfect example of this theory. Christopher and Channon, both 21, were on a date in January 2007, in Knoxville, Tennessee when they were carjacked and abducted late at night. They were taken to the house of a man named, Lemaricus Davidson where they were tortured and eventually killed.
This terrible murder was not only the act of Lemaricus Davidson, but four additional individuals: Letalvis Cobbins, George Thompson, Eric Boyd and Vanessa Coleman (Channon Christian, Christopher Newsom murders). Social process theory believes if a person associates with criminals, they are more likely to engage in criminal activity themselves. Over a period of hours, these five individuals slowly tortured Christopher and Channon. They suspects were all involved in this horrific crime and did not attempt to stop each other.
With various local, state and federal organizations/agencies, depending on the crime(s), one or more organization/agency can be involved. A majority of routine traffic stops and arrest and done by local law enforcement. Sometimes, if a pursuit entails, more than one agency may be involved, especially if the pursuit crosses into another county or state lines. More serious crimes, involve federal agencies. This type of crime would involve acts of terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking or serial murders.
One recent crime would be three murders in Cleveland, Ohio by a convicted sex offender (Associated Press). In this case, because of the number of victims and the possibility of additional victims, both the local Cleveland Police Department and the FBI are involved in this case. Cleveland PD is involved, because the crimes happened in their jurisdiction. The FBI is involved in this case as well, because they are dealing with a serial killer and there are potentially additional victims that have not yet been discovered.
In a case like this, the various organizations/agencies work together to try to solve the crime and gather evidence. Just by reading your local newspaper, you will find that a number of crimes happen in your own community. Recently, in a local community in Virginia a 25-year-old man was charged with murder and robbery, when he shot a 55-year-old man who was out walking his dog around 9:40 PM. Police report that the victim was approached by the suspect, shot the victim and robbed him and then fled the scene. Police were given the description of the man they saw fleeing the scene.
It was also reported that the gun used in this crime was stolen from a car in a local neighborhood (Aric Alexander Smith). Not all crimes are preventable; sometimes criminals are determined to commit a crime for one reason or another. In this case, it may not have been preventable but steps could have been taken to possibly deter activity like this. Sometimes, increased patrols can deter car breakings and confrontations just simply because there is a visual presence of law enforcement. Many neighborhoods have adequate lighting with the idea of a better-lit area may have less criminal activity.
Law enforcement also educates the community on how to protect themselves and their home when walking late at night, going on vacation and some even offer self defense classes (Siegel and Worrall, 99). Crime is an ugly side of our society, but measure can be taken to possibly avoid certain situations or to make oneself less likely to become a victim. There are many tips and suggestions on things such as even visiting an ATM or going to the bank, to make yourself not stand out or become a victim of a robbery – be prepared when going to an ATM, make sure you don’t have to dig in your pockets or your purse; use an ATM in a well lit area; be aware of your surrounding. Simple things like this could help one’s chances of becoming a victim. Not all crime is avoidable, but we can do what we can to try and make it less likely to happen.
References Siegel, Larry J. (N. D. ) Social Process Theory. www. NCJRS. gov. Retrieved July 27, 2013, from https://www. ncjrs. gov/App/publications/abstract. aspx? ID=185186 Associated Press. (July 21, 2013) Three Ohio Murders. www. foxnews. com.
Retrieved July 27, 2013 from http://www. foxnews.com/us/2013/07/21/three-bodies-found-wrapped-in-plastic-in-cleveland/ (February 21, 2013). Aric Alexander Smith. www. wusa9. com. Retrieved July 27, 2013, from http://www. wusa9. com/news/article/244584/256/Aric-Alexander-Smith-Charged-With-Murder-Robbery-In-Shooting-Death-Of-Gregory-Lee-Holley-Sr-In-Woodbridge-Va Siegel and Worrall. 2013. Essentials of Criminal Justice. (N. D. ) Channon Christian, Christopher Newsom murders. www. knoxnews. com. Retrieved July 27, 2013, from http://www. knoxnews. com/news/news/local/channon-christian-christopher-newsom-murders/