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dq 1

Biological & psychological theories (graded)

The American Psychiatric Association believes a person should not be held legally responsible for a crime if his or her behavior meets the following standard developed by legal expert Richard Bonnie: “A person charged with a criminal offense should be found not guilty by reason of insanity if it is shown that as a result of mental disease or mental retardation he was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time of the offense.” As used in this standard, the terms mental diseaseandmental retardationinclude only those severely abnormal mental conditions that grossly and demonstrably impair a person’s perception or understanding of reality and that are not attributable primarily to the voluntary ingestion of alcohol or other psychoactive substances. As a criminologist with expertise on trait theories of crime, do you agree with this standard? What modifications, if any, might you make to include other categories of offenders who are not excused by this definition? (Relate to TCO#4.)

dq 2

Social structure theories of crime (graded)

On page 185 of our textbook, Larry Seigel talks about the code of the streets which is based on the work of Elijah Anderson by the same name. Let’s start our discussion of social structure theories by addressing the follow question: Does the code of the street as described by Anderson, apply to the neighborhood in which you were raised? (Relate to TCO#4.)


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