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NCJ Number: 68477 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DOES ALCOHOL CAUSE HOMICIDE?
Author(s): W WILBANKS
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE NATURE OF THE DATA INDICATING A LINK BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND HOMICIDE, AND THE INTERPRETATION OF THAT DATA WITH RESPECT TO THE SENSE IN WHICH A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, ARE ANALYZED IN DETAIL.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER, PREPARED FOR THE MIDEASTERN ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE EDUCATORS IN 1979, IS TO REVIEW THE LITERATURE ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND HOMICIDE, WHILE SHOWING THAT CONFLICTING VIEWPOINTS AND CAUTIONARY WARNINGS BY EXPERTS IN THIS AREA ABOUT THE ATTRIBUTION OF CAUSES DO NOT WARRANT ANY DEFINITE CONCLUSIONS UP TO NOW. VARIOUS THEORIES REGARDING LINKAGE OF ALCOHOL (E.G., INTOXICATION) AND HOMICIDE ARE EXAMINED, INCLUDING ALTERATION-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS; DISINHIBITION (ESPECIALLY UNSATISFACTORY, BECAUSE IT APPEARS TO AFFECT INDIVIDUALS OF DIFFERENT RACES, SEX, AGE, SOCIAL BACKGROUND, IN HIGHLY DIFFERENTIATED WAYS); SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES OF INTOXICATED BEHAVIOR; USE OF ALCOHOL AS AN EXCUSE FOR COMMITTING A PRE-PLANNED CRIME. THIS STUDY FINDS THAT PRACTICALLY ALL THEORIES PROPOUNDED SO FAR ON THE CORRELATION BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND HOMICIDE ARE INVALIDATED BY A FAILURE TO DEFINE THEIR TERMS (E.G., CONFUSING THE POSSIBLE MEANINGS OF CAUSE, EITHER IMPLICITLY OR EXPLICITLY. THE ARGUMENT IS OFFERED THAT ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE PRESENCE OF ALCOHOL CANNOT BE CONSTRUED AS CAUSAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND HOMICIDE. DRUNKENNESS CAN BE VIEWED AS A POSSIBLE PRECIPITATING FACTOR, A SITUATIONAL ELEMENT IN A CHAIN OF EVENTS LEADING TO HOMICIDE, OR AN EMOTIONAL CATALYST. THE POSSIBILITY MAY EVEN EXIST OF AN INVERSE RELATION BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND HOMICIDE (E.G., OTHER CULTURES DRINK MORE THAN AMERICANS, YET HAVE A MUCH LOWER HOMICIDE RATE). THE CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART OF ALCOHOL-HOMICIDE CORRELATION THEORIES DOES NOT WARRANT ANY DEFINITE CONCLUSIONS. APPROXIMATELY 50 REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Aggression; Alcohol-Related Offenses; Crime Causes; Homicide; Literature reviews; Murder; Personality; Situational theory
Note: PAPER PREPARED FOR MIDWESTERN ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE EDUCATORS, OCTOBER 26, 1979, MOLINE, ILLINOIS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68477

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