Homicide and Serious Assaults

Richard Rosenfeld

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Public Policy

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199844654
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbook in Criminology & Criminal Justice

 Homicide and Serious Assaults

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This article considers cultural meanings, empirical patterns, theoretical explanations, and social responses connected with homicide and aggravated assault. It addresses homicide and aggravated assault trends in the United States over the past few decades and cross-national comparisons of homicide and assault. It assesses that rate of aggravated assault and homicide is higher among males and the young than among females and older persons. It discusses characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and incidents; relationships between victims and perpetrators; theories of violence; and policies to reduce violent crime. The main empirical patterns in homicide and serious assault are summarized. The causal factors emphasized in explanations of the violent behavior of morally suspect persons (e.g., criminals) generally involve individual or social defects, whereas those of violence carried out by morally upright persons (e.g., soldiers, physicians) involve considerations of legal or moral obligation.

Keywords: homicide; aggravated assault; serious assault; United States; violent behavior; legal obligation; moral obligation

Article.  10370 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Violent Crime

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