What is the cause of Drugs among Homicides?

What is the cause of Drugs among Homicides?

Author: Josh Valdez

 

Reference: Asbridge, Mark and Swarna Weerasinghe. 2009. "Homicide in Chicago from 1890 to 1930: Prohibition and its Impact on Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Homicides." Addiction 104(3):355-64.

Abstract:

The aim of the current paper is to examine the impact of the enactment of constitutional prohibition in the United States in 1920 on total homicides, alcohol-related homicides and non-alcohol-related homicides in Chicago. Design data are drawn from the Chicago Historical Homicide Project, a data set chronicling 11,018 homicides in Chicago between 1870 and 1930. Interrupted time–series and auto regression integrated moving average (ARIMA) models are employed to examine the impact of prohibition on three separate population-adjusted homicide series. All models control for potential confounding from World War I demobilization and from trend data drawn from Wesley Skogan's Time–Series Data from Chicago. Findings total and non-alcohol-related homicide rates increased during prohibition by 21% and 11%, respectively, while alcohol-related homicides remained unchanged. For other covariates, alcohol-related homicides were related negatively to the size of the Chicago police force and positively to police expenditures and to the proportion of the Chicago population aged 21 years and younger. Non-alcohol-related homicides were related positively to police expenditures and negatively to the size of the Chicago police force. Conclusions while total and non-alcohol-related homicides in the United States continued to rise during prohibition, a finding consistent with other studies, the rate of alcohol-related homicides remained unchanged. The divergent impact of prohibition on alcohol- and non-alcohol-related homicides is discussed in relation to previous studies of homicide in this era.

Summary:

Arguments present in this article explain the differences between alcohol and non-alcohol related murders and their effects on the police work and budget in Chicago during the prohibition. The main points of this article state that overall murders continued to increase within Chicago city limits no matter if alcohol was present or not.  Non-related alcohol murders continued to increase while alcohol related murders weren’t always reported to the police.  This overall resulted in the murder rate increasing in Chicago and not having a direct correlation or unclear correlation with alcohol consumption.  Put frankly, the prohibition inhibited our knowledge of alcohol related murders because no one wants to tell the cops they stabbed a guy because he was selling me cheap moonshine.

 

Reference: Fabian, John M. 2007. "Methamphetamine Motivated Murder: Forensic psychological/psychiatric & Legal Applications in Criminal Contexts." Journal of Psychiatry & Law 35(4):443-74.

Abstract:

This article examines the clinical and forensic (psycho-legal) aspects of methamphetamine use. The author will describe the clinical and psychiatric effects of the drug on an individual's functioning. Forensic psychological/psychiatric issues including substance-induced psychosis relevant to a not guilty by reason of insanity defense, diminished capacity, and mitigation at capital sentencing will be addressed. Case law pursuant to forensic aspects of methamphetamine use will also be thoroughly explored.

Summary:

This article argued the fact that clinical and psychiatric effects of methamphetamine has a greater effect on an individual’s functionality in reasoning and accountability. Some of the points argued are substance induced psychosis are not considered to fall under the same laws as diminished capacity and insanity defense.  It addresses the laws of self-induced mental incapacity and its relation to more serious things such as capital sentencing. Overall it talks about the laws surrounding drug related homicides especially when they are self-induced mental breakdowns.

 

Reference: Lindqvist, Per. 1991. "Homicides Committed by Abusers of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs." British Journal of Addiction 86(3):321-26.

Abstract:

This paper concerns 52 abusers of alcohol and 19 abusers of illicit drugs who had committed a homicide in northern Sweden between 1970 and 1981 or in Stockholm between 1971 and 1980. Twenty-three individuals were found guilty of murder, 21 of manslaughter and 27 of assault and causing another's death. The study group was characterized by a high prevalence of personality disorders, alcohol-induced brain damages and social derangement. Alcohol intoxication during the acts was seen in all cases of alcohol abusing offenders. Most of the victims were abusers themselves, were (ex-) partners or acquaintances of the offenders and had been drinking together with their killer. Homicides where the victim seemed to have been the prime aggressor constituted almost half of all instances. The homicides committed by abusers of illicit drugs were characterized by less intimacy and the offenders were often considerably younger than their victims

Summary:

This article argues the main differences between alcohol intoxicated individuals committing murder and those who are on illicit drugs who commit murder have a different type of relationship with their victim. For example: Lindqvist argues that alcohol present murders are typically with those well acquainted and a negative event happens that leads to the homicide. With drug users, they will commit homicide to younger “strangers”. The article studied individuals with three main categories: high prevalence of personality disorders, alcohol-induced brain damages and social derangement.  This article overall focused on who the victims of homicide were and their relationship to the murderer, while also focusing on the type of drug the perpetrator was using. This not only helped me understand the “social culture” of different types of drugs but also focused on the differences between alcohol related murder and illicit drug related murder.

 

Reference: Shaw, Jenny, Isabelle M. Hunt, Sandra Flynn, Tim Amos, Janet Meehan, Jo Robinson, Harriet Bickley, Rebecca Parsons, Kerry McCann, James Burns, Nav Kapur, and Louis Appleby. 2006. "The Role of Alcohol and Drugs in Homicides in England and Wales." Addiction 101(8):1117-24.

Abstract:

Background: the annual number of homicide convictions in England and Wales is increasing. Previous studies have highlighted the aetiological role of alcohol and drugs in homicide. Aims to examine rates of alcohol and drug misuse and dependence in people convicted of homicide; the role of alcohol and drugs in the offence; the social and clinical characteristics of alcohol- and drug-related homicides; and the social and clinical characteristics of patients with dual diagnosis who commit homicide. Methods a national clinical survey based on a 3-year (1996–9) consecutive sample of people convicted of homicide in England and Wales. Information on rates of alcohol and drug misuse/dependence, the role of alcohol and drugs in the offence and social and clinical characteristics of perpetrators were collected from psychiatric reports prepared for the court in homicide convictions. Detailed clinical information was gathered from questionnaires completed by mental health teams for those in contact with mental health services. Results of the 1594 homicide perpetrators, more than one-third (42%) occurred in people with a history of alcohol misuse or dependence and 40% in people with a history of drug misuse or dependence. Alcohol or drug misuse played a contributory role in two-fifths of homicides. Alcohol played a major role in 52 (6%) and a minor role in 364 (39%) homicides. Drugs played a major role in six (1%) and a minor role in 138 (14%) homicides. Forty-two homicides (17%) were committed by patients with severe mental illness and substance misuse. Alcohol- and drug-related homicides were generally associated with male perpetrators who had a history of violence, personality disorders, and mental health service contact and with stranger victims. Conclusions Substance misuse contributes to the majority of homicides in England and Wales. A public health approach to homicide would highlight alcohol and drugs before severe mental illness.

Summary:

This article argued that alcohol and drug misuse and dependency played huge roles in ones decision to commit homicide. It argued that alcohol and drugs had a greater effect on an individual’s decision to commit homicide more than those with mental health problems. It covered looking at both patience with dual diagnosis of mental health typically males who committed murder in England and Wales, also those who did not have mental health problems but were under the influence of drugs while committing murder and finally those with mental illness who are also under the effects of substance intake and what factors drugs and alcohol played in committing homicide. This article really touched on the fact that those who are under the influence of drugs have a higher crime rate probability of committing a homicide. The action that we need to take is to explain that effects of drugs and alcohol as a central topic when fighting homicide rates.

 

Reference: Wieczorek, William F., John W. Welte, and Ernest L. Abel. 1990. "Alcohol, Drugs and Murder: A Study of Convicted Homicide Offenders." Journal of Criminal Justice 18:217-27.

Abstract:

Data on 1,887 convicted homicide offenders were examined to discern the relationships between alcohol and/or drug use and murder. Information obtained through confidential interviews at state prisons and local jails provided demographics and information on drinking and drug use immediately before the crime and relevant data on the offenders' typical drinking style. About 50 percent of the offenders were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime, similar to the rate found by other studies. Substance use was more prevalent than nonuse before the homicide: 36 percent used alcohol only, 13 percent used both alcohol and drugs, 7 percent used drugs only, and 43 percent did not use either. A heavier style of drinking is much more prevalent among homicide offenders than in the general population. Blacks showed the least involvement with alcohol before homicide. A direct role for alcohol is indicated by the finding that homicides were associated with a heavier than usual episode of drinking and the large mean alcohol consumption contiguous to the crime (9.3 ounces of alcohol or about 18 drinks). Evidence also indicates that a unique relationship existed between drug use and homicide.

Summary:

The arguments in this article are apparent when looking at drug and alcohol consumption before committing a murder.  The article argues that there is an apparent increase in alcohol intake before committing murder, typically an alcohol intake of 9.3 ounces.  This article also makes the point that a little more than half of their sample group was under some sort of influence (drug or alcohol) before committing homicide. Also, that the other almost half of the individuals studied were not under any type of influence and that most of these individuals identify as black.  Overall, the article explains the percentage and differences between substance abuse and not under the influence when committing a homicide.


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