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Cesare Beccaria and Rational Choice Theory

People commit crimes for an infinite number of reasons and the human head is a complicated electrical network that we are only beginning to understand. For this reason in part, we've a system of laws in place. The population depends upon these laws to keep up some form of sociable order as well concerning protect them to the best of their potential. Our nation's criminal justice system is essentially based on logical choice theory. In case a crime is devoted the perpetrator is punished (abuse is looked for) because it is assumed that he or she acted of their own free will in committing the unlawful act. That is in part why there are individual laws for individuals who claim these were coerced, entrapped, or devoted a offense under duress. However, Cesare Beccaria believed that there have been no defenses for legal acts.

Cesare Beccaria is known as the father of criminology. His famous work On Crimes and Abuse "had a big and lasting impact on the American Constitution, the Invoice of Rights and our unlawful justice system. " ("Constitution. org") His goal was to provide an enlightened, logical, and logical blueprint on which a new unlawful justice system could be centered. Without fairness, preciseness, and expediency the system of laws and punishment were doomed to are unsuccessful as an effective deterrent. In his article, Beccaria wrote, "for a consequence to attain its end, the evil which it inflicts has and then exceed the benefit derivable from the criminal offense; in this excess of evil you need to include the certainty of consequence and the increased loss of the good which the crime might have produced. All beyond this is superfluous and for that reason tyrannical. " (Beccaria Cesare)

The idea of deterrence is essential when considering logical choice as a feasible theory. Without the threat of some type of suffering you can find little to consider when making a choice, so long as our decisions are based on the idea that human activities are motivated completely by the maximizing of pleasure and the minimizing of pain. The concept of hedonism 's been around since early on civilization. "Hedonism is a university which argues that pleasure is really the only intrinsic good. " (Zalta) Democritus, the Greek philosopher said that the supreme goal of life was contentment and cheerfulness. (Rowe, and Schofield 122) The Indian Hindu hedonist university Crvka said that pleasure ought to be the only aim of living. Arristipus of Cyrene, founder of the Cyrenaics educated that the only real intrinsic good is pleasure. (O'Keefe) The list could continue and on as this concept speaks to the building blocks of human character.

Beccaria assumed that human beings are notorious for calculating the possible outcomes of an action resistant to the possible rewards of this action as those implications relate with them. Being morally egotistical and pondering along the lines of maximizing pleasure, concern with punishment is essential to overpower the desire to commit serves that could cause us suffering. This reasoning can be applied to all works, not just criminal ones.

The structure of your unlawful justice system operates under these basic ideas. Something of laws regulating our behavior is the only way to ensure that folks will adhere to certain norms in a culture. These laws and regulations (and the consequence implemented by the violation of them), provide population the guidelines needed when deciding if a particular act would be more beneficial than dangerous. Beccaria was an advocate for informing the general public of what was expected of these as well as the consequence they could face performed they not live up to these expectations. This technique of regulations and punishments become an over-all deterrent against unlawful activity. Along with the laws available to the public the probability of deviant habit is reduced because of the concern with apprehension and/or punishment.

Evidence implies that swiftness, severeness, and certainty of punishment are essential for deterrence to be a highly effective means of criminal offense control. The most important of these seems to be certainty of abuse. If a person knows that they can face costs for a certain criminal action they may be less likely to commit that action. If there is no certainty that they can be trapped, however, there seems to be less matter generally about what will happen if they're. This certainty factor supports a great weight in the process of identifying if the legal activity the first is considering engaging in is truly rational in the end.

Widely known as "The Vancouver Child Killer", Westley Allan Dodd was a loner. Blessed in 1961 in Washington, he was the oldest of three children. His first reported intimate experience was in 1970, Dodd was only nine years of age. He thinks that his desire for children was largely anticipated to an incident with a more youthful neighbor female when he was only a decade old. He claims that he noticed rejected after tugging his jeans down in front of her and her refusal to check out him. He experimented on his own body in grotesque ways and later started out luring victims to his house showing them the "tricks" he could do.

Though Dodd boasts his parents incessant arguing and lack of support were the reason for his unhappiness, he refuses ever before having been molested himself. In 1975 at age thirteen Dodd commenced to expose himself to young kids throughout his community. Over the short time of 8 weeks he claims to acquire exposed himself to more than forty children. His idea that boys were less likely to article him was challenged later that year when he was reported to law enforcement. There were no consequences for his activities at the moment, though the law enforcement officials did inform his parents of the complaint. It's been said that his daddy avoided talking with Westley about the subject. (Branch, Bryan, Giovenco, Nichols, and Yeatts)

At this time, Westley came back to his bizarre and unnatural experiments on himself and started out masturbating frequently. He began molesting children at time fourteen. First, His sister's friend (time ten), then, his sister. Soon after that he raped his own eight time old cousin. Dodd started accumulating victims quickly. His twisted action at that time prolonged to the family dog. Soon before his fifteenth birthday his parents divorced. Dodd continued to trick children into situations in which he would molest them, one following the other, sometimes as much as six children at the same time.

In March of 1977, at the age of fifteen, Dodd was caught for exposing himself to two young girls, age range eight and ten. He was never prosecuted, however, counseling was advised. Dodd later said that he was not afraid of regulations because he previously become away with molesting children and exposing himself numerous times without being caught. Just weeks later he molested his neighborhood friends three children in their bedrooms, they ranged in get older in one to four years old.

Later that yr, perhaps so that they can avert his predilections', he previously his first night out with a girl. He denies any sexual contact with the girl and promises it to obtain been one of the most severe nights of his life. He later attained a woman at summer season camp and acquired his first kiss. Dodd avoided her the rest of the summer time. Later when asked out by a girl slightly youthful than him he refused to go.

By the age of eighteen, Dodd understood that his choice was boys and girls under the age of ten. He was imprisoned in October of 1980, at era nineteen, for wanting to kidnap two girls. He admitted attempting to molest girls and even his plan of where to take them that was isolated and private yet he was not incarcerated. By years twenty he was enlisted in the Navy. Dodd said, "EASILY hadn't joined the Navy i quickly may have been killing in a year. "

Dodd was imprisoned in May of 1982 after offering to pay two boys to go into his hotel room and play remove texas holdem and confessed his plan to molest both boys but the charges were fell. In December of this same 12 months he was arrested for "attempting indecent liberties" over a boy. After offering only seventeen days in prison he premiered and bought to guidance. This arrest ended his profession with the Navy.

In May of 1984, Dodd was arrested once again. This time for the molestation of an ten-year-old young man. He was given a suspended one-year phrase and bought to guidance. Just weeks later in Idaho, Dodd was convicted of molesting another young man, this one era thirteen. He received a ten-year word which he offered four weeks. By Dec of 1994 Dodd was back in the general populace molesting small children. His deviance was leading him to more and more depraved acts including the rape of his co-workers eighteen month old son and his roommates' two yr old son who was partially deaf and could not discuss.

Dodd was also becoming more and more violent, binding the hands of his victims if they resisted. He started to fantasize about getting rid of his victims. He's quoted as expressing, "A lot more I thought about it, a lot more exciting the idea of murder sounded. I prepared many ways to kill a boy. I QUICKLY started thinking of torture, castration, and even cannibalism. " Westley Allan Dodd was twenty-five years of age when he said this. By twenty-six he previously chosen his first murder sufferer, an eight yr old young man he attained on his worksite. Dodd attempted to trick the child into heading back to his apartment but the young man said that he was going home to get some good toys. Of course the boy informed his parents and the authorities were called. Dodd was once more caught but his word was reduced to a gross misdemeanor. He offered 118 days and nights in prison and was released with twelve months of probation.

Dodd transferred to Vancouver and quickly discovered "a good hunting floor" as he represents it. David Douglas Park, located only a mile from his new apartment, would be the website of the first two of three murders Dodd would commit before being found. September 4th, 1989, Billy and Cole Neer were raped and stabbed and remaining in the playground to die. Dodd was sense unsatisfied and decided that rape and murder was not enough, he wanted to perform "experimental surgeries" on his victims. By later Oct he was planning his next attack.

On Oct 29, 1989 Dodd chosen Lee Iseli, a four calendar year old boy, up at Richmond Institution Playground and required him back again to his apartment. He tied the boy to his bed and proceeded to molest and picture him. Then got Lee to an area store to buy him a toy where the boy started out to weep. Dodd explained he was seeing his nephew and had taken the boy to consume at an area fast food restaurant just miles from David Douglas Recreation area where in fact the Neer boys have been wiped out just weeks earlier.

The two delivered to Dodd's apartment where Dodd composed in his journal, "He suspects nothing now. Will probably wait until day to kill him. Doing this his body will be rather fresh for tests after work. " (Dodd) During the night Dodd sustained to molest the boy. As the young man slept, early in the morning, Dodd strangled Lee and then revive him. Then strangled Lee again and hung him in his wardrobe so that he could take pictures. He burnt the males clothing and dumped his body near Vancouver Lake. Your body of Lee Iseli was found out the next day.

Less when compared to a month would pass before Dodd is at custody. In an attempt to kidnap a young guy from a cinema the guy escaped and ran to a worker. The boyfriend of the boy's mom heard the commotion and came out to see what was happening. Upon hearing the promises he ran outside to find Dodd, stalled in the pub, without way to escape. At twenty-eight years of age Dodd was once again in custody and in under an hour he confessed to his crimes.

Dodd was convicted and sentenced to fatality July 15, 1990. At his sentencing he said, "I didn't offer any mitigating evidence during the charges phase because, in my brain, that's just an excuse. I do not blame the unlawful justice system for anything, however the system does not work" He asked to be executed by dangling. "I have to be performed before I've an possibility to escape or eliminate someone within the jail. EASILY do break free, I assure you I will wipe out and rape and enjoy every minute of it. " (Scott) The first to expire in the gallows since 1965, Westley Allan Dodd was executed January 5, 1993.

There are several clear cases here where you can note that Dodd's actions were logical ones. In early stages Dodd accounts having no fear of the law anticipated to his regular evading of consequences, despite his several arrests up to that point. He later articulates that his original intend to murder his victims was to avoid detection. There was a period when, regarding to Dodd, he attemptedto date women. Perhaps to try and conform to some sociable norm yet he regularly went back to his deviant habit.

While his offences are heinous and one might speculate how anyone could rationally choose to react in the way Dodd does, he behaved for the reason that manner rationally and intentionally. His assaults were carefully considered and designed, the knowledge these acts were legal was present. This isn't to say that is the exclusive theory that could be used to identify Dodd, any truly rational person would be compelled to believe that there was something more that drove Dodd to these conducts. There is absolutely no proof any social affect, however.


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Scott, Shirley Lynn. "Westley Allan Dodd. " truTV. Turner Entertainment Digital, n. d. Web. 2 Nov 2010.

O'Keefe, Tim. "Cyrenaics. " Internet Encyclopedia of Idea. 2001. Web.

Rowe, Christopher, and Malcom Schofield. The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought. 1st. NY, NY: Cambridge School Press, 2000. 122. Print.

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Philosophy. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab, 2004.


Siegel, Larry. Criminology: theories, patterns, and typologies. 9th.

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub Co, 2007. 94-122. Printing.

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