The concept of the guilty mind” should be eliminated from the criminal law and replaced with a strict liability standard

Criminology Reaction Paper

This paper is DUE 2014.  The reaction paper may be handed in at the end of class or submitted via e mail. Late submissions will not be read or accepted.  Your reaction paper should be 3 pages long. It will be graded based upon the following criteria:


  1. State your reaction: worth 20 points
  2. Support your position with the text or other research- you should cite at least three sources
  3. Briefly discuss the opposing view and basis for it: worth 10 points
  4. State the strengths and weaknesses of your position: worth 25 points
  5. What are the implications of your position: worth 10 points
  6. Grammar: worth 15 points


Please choose from one of the following topics:


  1.  The concept of the guilty mind should be eliminated from the criminal law and replaced with a strict liability standard.
  2. Current criminal defenses such as the battered wife defense or the insanity defense allow people to go free even though they committed serious criminal acts and are actually guilty as charged.
  3. A criminologist studying a gang decided to hang with them, drinking and watching as they steal cars. He reports the crime later to the police.
  4. Criminologists believe that it is possible to predict where crime will take place in the future. Is there a downside to this type of prediction?
  5. Crime rates have been declining in the United States but increasing in Europe. Some criminologists feel that factors that correlate with crime changes in the United States have little utility in predicting changes in other cultures. What other factors may increase or reduce crime rates?
  6. Certain social and environmental factors would influence crime rates. A national emergency would increase crime rates.
  7. The fact that males are more violent than females means that crime has a biological rather than social basis (because male and females share a similar environment.)
  8. The routine activities describes why people become victims rather than why there are motivated offenders. How would the routine activities theory explain the Virginia Tech shootings? What aspects of the theory could be applied to a seemingly senseless killing?
  9. Schools are some of the most dangerous locations in the community.
  10. A person bears some of the responsibility for his or her victimization when the person maintains a lifestyle that contributes to the chances of becoming a victim.
  11. Jacque’s research suggest that drug dealers are rational decision makers whose choice of retaliation styles depends on personal and situational factors.
  12. Because the death penalty does not have a deterrent effect on criminals, criminals are more likely to kill police officers when the death penalty is in place.
  13. Criminals are rational decision makers.
  14. The government should control the content of TV shows and limit the amount of weekly violence.
  15. People diagnosed as psychopaths should be separated and treated even if they have not committed a crime.
  16. Psychopathic murderers should be spared the death penalty because they lack the capacity to control their behavior.
  17. According to research kids who watch a lot of TV in adolescence are more likely to behave aggressively in adolescence.
  18. Storylines are used by people to get involved in crime. Some storylines may be used to prevent or inhibit illegal activities.
  19. The code of the street as described by Anderson applies in my neighborhood and is universal.
  20. Forms of communication such as the Internet will reduce cultural differences and create a more homogeneous society.
  21. According to Topalli kids in disorganized neighborhoods shun conventional values.
  22. According to Sykes and Matza everyone shares conventional norms and values.
  23. Negative labels cause crime. People who commit crimes become negatively labelled.
  24. Once weakened, a person’s bonds to society can become reattached through social processes.
  25. The war in Iraq constituted sate organized crime according to Bonn.