Sample Essay

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There are three types of Criminal Homicide in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice:

a)      Murder

b)      Manslaughter

c)      Death by Auto

A homicide is called a murder when it is committed purposefully or knowingly or it happens in the course of a robbery, a burglary, a rape, arson, a kidnapping or an attempt to escape from law enforcement agencies (State of New Jersey, 2009).

A homicide is called manslaughter when:

1)      The perpetrator does not kill the victim himself, but recklessly endangers the victim with extreme indifference.

2)      The perpetrator kills the victim in the heat of passion as a result of reasonable provocation on the part of the victim.

Death by auto is when a person recklessly driving a car causes someone’s death. This includes death caused by an intoxicated driver (State of New Jersey, 2009).

The Extent of Criminal Homicide in New Jersey

A total of 433 homicides were reported in New Jersey in 2005, of these, 401 were residents of New Jersey who were killed in New Jersey, 17 were people from out of state who were killed in New Jersey, 10 were residents of New Jersey killed out of state and 5 were New Jersey residents of whom it is not know whether they were killed in the state or out of state (New Jersey Violent Death Reporting System, 2009).

Situated transaction

According to this theory, a homicide is one of the final stages in a predictable series of events which typically start off with the victim saying or doing something which the murderer considers to be insulting and an injury to his honor. In both the victim and the killer, the desire to save face and maintain an appearance of bravery escalates the hostile situation till it ends with a fatal injury (Doerner & Lab, 2008).

Victim precipitation

According to this early theory in victimology, there is always some action on the part of the victims that provokes the murderers in to killing them. Although this theory was not intended as a justification for a crime, it lost all support when a researcher tried to extend it to rape. The idea that the raped woman may have provoked the rapist into raping her was considered too unpopular an avenue of research for anyone to pursue (Doerner & Lab, 2008).

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