Criminological Theory Final Essay- Examination of Offender

Paper Topic: For this paper you will select one of the seven famous offenders listed below and:

Briefly summarize the offender’s life history and crimes (2 pages max)
Select two theories from those listed below, one that you think provides a good explanation for the offender’s behavior and one that does not.
Describe theory #1 (concepts, assumptions, etc). Present an argument that this theory explains the offender’s behavior. Use evidence from the offender’s life to support your claim.
Describe theory #2 (concepts, assumptions, etc.). Present an argument that this theory does not explain the offender’s behavior. Use evidence from the offender’s life to support your claim.
Discuss the weaknesses in your argument regarding the adequacy of these theories to explain your chosen offender’s behavior.
Discuss the policies implications of your theories and discuss how applying these specific policies may have succeeded or failed to influence your offender’s behaviors/crimes.

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Gary Gilmore

Karla Homolka

Bernard (Bernie) Madoff

Patricia Krenwinkel

Bonnie Parker

David Duke

Jeffrey Epstein



Strain Theory

General Strain Theory

Routine Activities Theory

Deterrence Theory

Rational Choice Theory

Biological Theories

Social Disorganization Theory

Self-Control Theory

Institutional Anomie Theory

Subcultural Theories


The paper should be 7-9 pages double spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins. A title page and references pages should be included but are not part of the required page count. In-text citations and your references page should use APA. You are expected to utilize a minimum of ten reputable academic sources for your paper. Do not use your textbooks or the lectures in your essay; instead, locate articles/books written by the original theorists and other credible sources and use these instead (you are welcome to use the recommended readings; these are good examples of the kind of sources that you should rely on for this assignment). Non-reputable sources (such as Wikipedia) may not be used at all; use of such sources will impact your grade negatively. Also note that encyclopedias should not be used.

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