Criminology is often referred as the study of crime and its offenders. yet many argued about the definition of crime itself. There are various definitions of crime available, such as the legalistic definition where crime is defined as the act of conviction of criminal law (by Paul Tappan), or the statistical definition where an action is considered a crime if the frequency of it conducted is low (by L.T. Wilkins) (Muncie J 1996), leaving the fact that crime itself is not definite. The definition of crime might changes overtime due to the alteration of culture, moral conduct, values, beliefs, etc. For instance, the act of sodomy was considered a crime once, yet today even gay marriages has been legalised. On the contrary, regardless to the changes of the definition, murder has always been considered as an delinquent behaviour and a serious crime. The punishment would usually be equally burdensome, varying in death sentence (such as hanging, beheading and lethal injection) to what is more common at this modern era, a long-time to life-time imprisonment. This essay will discuss a murder crime occurred in Adelaide and will explain the crime causation along with the relevant theory.
The criminal case covered in this essay involve a triple family murder done by an 18 year old student named Jason Alexander Downie. Jason migrated from Kilmarnock, Scotland to Adelaide, Australia in 2006 with his mother. He was known to have sexual infatuation with a 16 year old named Chantelle Rowe (Shears 2012) and was jealous with one of his friend who was dating her. Downie’s lawyer said that his client has no intention killing anyone and only wanted to “confront Chantelle’s boyfriend in the mistaken belief that he was staying [at her home]” (Shears 2012) in Kapunda, north of Adelaide. However, the jealousy turns to the murder of Chantelle and her parents, Andrew and Rose.
In November 2010, Jason broke in to the Rowe’s home to have sexual intercourse with Chantelle, when suddenly the girl’s father confronted him of the intrusion. He then proceed to take the kitchen knife and stabbed Andrew 29 times while his wife was stabbed at least 50 times because she witnessed Andrew’s murder, whereas Chantelle was raped and stabbed multiple times (Fewster 2012), leaving Christopher Rowe as the sole survivor of the murder as he was holidaying away from his home. He pleaded guilty to the murder 2 years after it was conducted and started his 35 year minimum jail term in 2012. The plead was delayed because he does not confess to the crime, blaming a man with “a dark clothing with a green shopping bag” (Fewster 2012) whom he have seen from the area as the real killer. Pre-dated letters written by him somehow shows that he tried to convince his mother that he is innocent even after he was jailed, claiming that “he only pleaded guilty because police would not believe the truth” (Fewster, 2012).
A psychological assessment done by forensic psychologist Richard Balfour...