Psychological Theory Of Criminality And The Boston Marathon Bombings Term Paper

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Criminal Justice -- Boston Marathon Bombing "Predatory criminality" is a popular theme that follows the psychological theory of criminality in modern news media and social media. The inherently evil criminal is seen as deviant and separate from society. This entertains the public while absolving them of any guilt and encouraging them to cheer when the heroes defeat the villains. The Boston Marathon Bombings are a good example of the theory of predatory criminality and of the psychological theory of criminality.

Boston Marathon Bombings as Predatory Criminality

"Predatory criminality" involves criminals who are driven by animal urges and cravings, illogical, and essentially evil and who commit violent, dramatic, and irrational crimes (Surette, 2015, p. 60). The media tends to focus on this type of criminality because the public is fascinated by it and because it makes it appear as though this type of crime is due to the individual criminal's deficiencies, absolving society of any responsibility for the crime (Surette, 2015, pp. 61-2). The individual and his/her terrible criminal acts seem to appear out of nowhere, with no connection to the society's behavior. This allows the media to benefit from the public's intense interest and allows the public/society to condemn and severely punish the criminal without sharing any responsibility for the...


62). The victims of those crimes are used to show victimization and are then practically ignored (Surette, 2015, p. 63). The media concentrates on the hero-villain contest in which the good-guys, usually law enforcement, capture (or better yet, kill) the villain criminal.
An excellent example of the media's treatment of crime as sensational predatory criminality is the Boston Marathon Bombings of April 15, 2013 (NBCUniversal Media, LLC, 2013). Briefly, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring more than 260 (Surette, 2015, p. 61). There was media frenzy across the world that repeatedly showed the bombings and the human suffering (NBCUniversal Media, LLC, 2013). Law enforcement pretty quickly confronted the predatory criminals only a few days later when the Tsarnaev brothers shot an MIT police officer, hijacked a car and had a gun battle in the street with police, during which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed. A day later, Dzhokhar was found hiding in a covered boat, was shot in the face and was captured. All the while, media -- including social media -- heavily followed and kept reporting the same news and new developments during the investigation, pursuit, killing of one brother and…

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Works Cited

NBCUniversal Media, LLC. (2013, April 15). Two bombs explode at Boston Marathon. Retrieved from;jsessionid=993DF2CE2CF2BD5412128D1526D20D41?

Surette, R. (2015). Media, crime and criminal justice: Images, realities and policies, 5th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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