For decades, criminologists’ focus has been on the role the criminal plays only. However, there have been discoveries on the importance of the roles of the victims as well. This has been identified as an influencing factor that can motivate a criminal into criminal activities. Presently, there are a number of theories that explain the causes of victimization. Among the theories is the victim precipitation theory that gives a suggestion that people may initiate or cause confrontation that may them to be victimized.
Victim precipitation theory as explained by Siegel (2006) can be either active or passive. In the case of an active precipitation, a victim knowingly provokes the other party using threats, fighting words or intitiates the attack first. This form of victimization is common in murder cases where attackers explain to the jury that they committed a crime out of self defence or they were abused and their ego hurt hence they reacted out of anger. Passive precipitation on the other hand occurs when a victim exhibits characteristics and behaviors that encourage an attack (Siegel 2006). In passive precipitation, the victim is usually not aware or conscious of their attackers and is mostly common in hate cases whereby one is eliminated because they have made major achievements in different fields or they are a threat to the victims’ carrers or lives. Passive precipitation also presents itself in cases of personal conflicts among the victims and their attackers.
The precipitation theory can be explained by the criminal case whereby George Zimmerman, a Florida neighbourhood watch captain shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old American high school student. Martin attaked the captain and in self defence he fired and shot at him killing him instantly. The jury in Sanford agreed to a no-guilty verdict and Zimmerman was set free to go. In this case, the victim, Martin actively precipitated the attacker Zimmerman by initiating an attack.
Siegel (2006) identifies criminal activities as those activities that are in violation of societal codes of conduct and are expressed by criminal legal codes that are created by people who hold social and political power. The rate of criminal activities today are in the increase and cases are piled up in courts of law. Criminal activities involving particular circumstances have attracted a number of parties among them local and state agencies specialized in certain areas like corruption, terrorism and homicide. These agencies have jurisdiction to take over certain criminal cases and investigate them thoroughly.
An example of a life scenario involving activity is the April 2013 ricin letters. This was a criminal activity that happended in Washindton DC and involved the sending of letters containing...