For each of these questions, you should rely on your reading in the textbook, Powerpoint lectures and independent research.  When using independent research, please be sure to reference your source (URL, etc.).  This assignment should help you understand some of your course outcomes including, “Criminology as a scientific study”  and “Historical Schools of Determinism.”  So let’s get started…

In Chapter 4, you read in detail about Rational Choice Theory as a theory of crime causation.  Textbook is Criminology: The Core, 7th Edition. By Larry J. Siegel

1) The movie “The Purge” imagines the US in the future.  In this future, crime rates and homelessness are at an all time low.  Why? Because there is one night when citizens are self-regulating and may commit crime.  There is no consequence or punishment on one night.  You may view the preview for this film if you so wish (*Please note: I am not assigning you to watch this film.  Even the preview is graphic).

 The premise of this film relies heavily on the concept that crime is a rational choice and can be held off until a specific day.

a) Please define Rational Choice Theory and General Deterrence Theory. 

b)  How are these theories illustrated by films like “The Purge”?

c) What problems do you see with these theories?  Why might a “Purge Day” not work?

2.  Look carefully at “Policies and Issues in Criminology” (subsection found in Chapter 4 of the textbook).  The death penalty is a subject of great debate for many reasons.  One reason is whether or not it has a deterrent effect.

Do you believe that the death penalty discourages murder and is an effective deterrent?  Why or why not?

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