You are a Criminologist that have been asked by the Supreme Court to assess the key players in a murder case, namely the victim and the accused.
Raymond is a 27-year-old who has been charged with the murder of an acquaintance, Lucky. A glimpse into Raymond’s past shows that he was abandoned at birth by his biological mother, who left him in the care of an elderly grandmother and never looked back on him. Raymond’s father was a notorious drug leader who died before he was born. Raymond’s grandmother died when he was 6 years old.
From then, Raymond has been in and out of children’s homes until the age of 15 years old. Raymond was always in trouble at school. A Social Worker at the school did an assessment of Raymond and concluded that he had a low IQ, was repulsive, possibly had ADHD and was aggressive. He was caught using drugs on the school property on many occasions. He constantly lashed out and broke down in during class sessions about the fact that he did not know who his biological parents were and felt unloved and rejected.
In addition, He performed poorly in school and often skipped class. He was expelled from school at 15 years old for fighting the Principal and was sent to a young offender’s institution. From there, he graduated to the adult institution, where he got his first criminal conviction at 17 years old. When Raymond came out of prison, he was unable to secure a job because of his criminal convictions and started to hang out on the block called “Blue Crew”. He considered these persons as his new family. He started selling drugs to make a living and eventually made a career out it. Raymond has been arrested several times for various offences, including drug possession, assault, theft and serious bodily harm.
Lucky was a 22-year-old slow learner who left school at 16 years old to help his mother sell ground provisions in the city. This was their only means of income. A year after dropping out of school, Lucky’s mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Lucky knew that selling ground provisions was not going to be sufficient to cover her treatment and became caught up in the life of drug trafficking and violence. He was known to the police and at the time of his death had several convictions, all related to drugs or serious bodily harm.
Lucky yearned power and started to sell cocaine. He quickly elevated to being called the “Boss” and gained respect from the younger boys in the area, who he eventually recruited from school to distribute drugs for him. Also, He had numerous enemies on the streets because of the drug trade, and was constantly in conflict with men from the neighbouring block “Blue Crew”. He was always known to walk around with large amounts of money and jewellery.
Police investigations revealed that the victim left home on the night of his death and was on his way to pay an individual for a dug shipment. He left home alone with $10,000.00 in an envelope. When his body was found, he had no money or jewellery. Police summed up the case as a robbery and drug related. Both victim and the accused lived in neighbouring inner city communities which are notorious for criminal activity and violence.
A. Based on the criminological theories on crime, how would you assess the key players Lucky and Raymond?
B. Discuss the Nature versus Nurture debate in relation to theories surrounding crime. Were the criminal activities by the key players as a result of Nature or Nurture?