Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Sociology and Anthropology
This dissertation is composed of two research papers. The first paper analyzes the accounts of a sample (n = 25) of convicted murderers. The results show that offenders employ either justifications (i.e., self-defense or victim precipitated violence) or excuses (i.e., alcohol and drugs, stressful life-events, or social influence) to explain their violent behavior. The second paper examines inmates' perceptions regarding the importance of selected social factors (i.e., blocked opportunities, criminal labels, criminal value orientation, parental abuse, and alcohol/drugs) to explain their criminal behavior. Additionally, the analysis was designed to determine the extent to which the offenders' importance ratings differed by type of crime (e.g., property or violent). The results show that the offenders' importance ratings do not vary significantly by type of crime.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Melvin C. Ray
Ray, Melvin C., "Convicted offenders' vocabulary of motive: truth or consequences " (1986). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 8292.