Week 6 Assignment


Criminological Research Paper


Offenders commit crimes for different reasons. Criminological theories attempt to explain why crimes occur. For the Final Paper, you will evaluate the theoretical study of crime and crime causation by examining the crime of an offender and applying a criminological theory discussing why the offense occurred.

You must discuss both the offender and the crime in detail. Additionally, you must research the criminological theory to be used; discuss the theorist responsible for coining the theory, the year it was created, the premise of the theory, and how it is applicable.

Below is a list of offenders that were reported in the media as a result of the heinous nature of their offense. Select one of the offenders, and research their crime. You may only use scholarly sources when citing in your paper. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.

First, select an offender from the list of offenders. 

  • Alex and Derek King (12 and 13 when they killed their father)
  • Andrew Luster (Cosmetic fortune heir who was convicted of drugging, raping, and videotaping assault of young women)
  • Bernard Madoff (perpetrated world’s largest Ponzi scheme, bilking investors of billions of dollars)
  • Charles Cullen (Most prolific serial killer in New Jersey history, killed patients with drugs from the hospital) 
  • Cheng Chui Ping (Smuggled thousands of Chinese immigrants to the United States)
  • Eric Rudolph (Serial bomber responsible for several anti-abortion and anti-gay bombings, killing two and injuring 111)
  • Jesse Timmendequas (Raped and murdered a seven-year-old girl)
  • Joel Steinberg (lawyer who beat six-year-old daughter to death)
  • John B. Taylor (former Wendy’s manager who robbed and shot seven employees)
  • Kathy Boudin (radical involved in robbery that led to the death of two police officers and a security guard)
  • Ken Lay (Enron accounting fraud, wiped out employee-stockholders’ pensions)
  • Michael Devlin (kidnapped and sexually abused two boys while living openly as their “father”)
  • Robert Chambers (nicknamed the “Preppie Murderer,” killed 18-year-old woman in Central Park)
  • Sante Kimes (grifter who, with son, murdered elderly socialite to get townhouse)
  • Seung-Hui Cho (South Korean student who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others at Virginia Tech)
  • Susan Smith (falsely claimed carjacking to cover drowning of her children)
  • Zacarias Moussaoui (would-be 9/11 hijacker now serving life sentence in federal prison)

Then, select one theory from the list.

  • Age-Graded Theory
  • Anomie Theory
  • Arousal Theory
  • Behavioral Theory
  • Biochemical Theory
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Control Balance Theory
  • Critical Criminology
  • Critical Feminist Criminology
  • Cultural Deviance Theory
  • Deviance Place Theory
  • Differential Association Theory
  • Differential Coercion Theory
  • Evolution Theory
  • General Strain Theory
  • Instrumental Theory
  • Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential (ICAP) Theory
  • Interactional Theory
  • Left Realism Theory
  • Lifestyle Theory 
  • Rational Choice Theory 
  • Theory of Crime and Genetic Theory

After you research the criminological theory and the case, your paper must

  • Explain the theory in detail.
  • Discuss the theorist responsible for coining the theory including the year the theory was created.
  • Describe the premise of the theory.
  • Explain how it is applicable.
  • Discuss both the offender and the crime in detail.
  • Discuss how the theory explains the actions of the criminal selected from the list above.

The Final Paper

  • Must be three to five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use at least five scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
    • 8 years ago
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