Within there will be four aspects. The first aspect

Within criminology, there are many theories that can help
explain the reason for criminals offending behaviour. This essay will be
explaining how the theory ‘classicism’ can be implied when discussing the
offending behaviour of two teenager murders. Overall, in this essay, there will
be four aspects. The first aspect of this essay will be a brief outline of ‘The
Spalding murders’ case which occurred in 2016. The second aspect will be an
overview of the core and relevant elements in relation to classicism. The third
aspect will be a detailed description of how classicism can help explain the
offending behaviour within the Spalding murder case. The final aspect of this
essay will be a conclusion which will summarise the points made.

Teenager Kim Edwards and her boyfriend Lucas Markham, both
aged fourteen, murdered Kim’s mother Elizabeth, aged 49, and sister Katie, aged
13, in the month of April 2016. Elizabeth and Katie were found with their
throats cut in their beds in Spalding due to Kim’s hatred for her mother.
“A court heard the motivation for the murders was Kim’s belief that her
mother favoured her younger sister and her attempts to end her relationship
with Lucas” (Nelson, 2017). After plotting
their brutal method of murder in a local McDonalds, Lucas “stabbed
Elizabeth in the neck eight times while smothering her with a pillow to stop
her from screaming out” (Wright, 2017). Markham then went to Katie’s room and
stabbed her twice in the neck whilst she was sleeping. The couple showed no
remorse after the event as they “watched four twilight vampire films and
had sex” (Evans, 2017). Kim Edwards and
Lucas Markham are now known as “the youngest double murderers” (Evans, 2017) after pursuing their
twisted plans and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. However, the sentence
was decreased to 17 and a half years imprisonment.

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Classical criminology, also known as classicism,
“proceeded from the assumption of free-will and consequently, assumed that
criminal activity was the result of the rational choice and the hedonistic
impulses of the individual” (Newburn, 2017). Humans are rational actors; they make
decisions about their actions on the basis of some form of cost benefit
analysis. In other words, when making a decision, individuals analyse if the
action ‘makes sense’ and if it is worthwhile. There are many ideas that have
occurred over the years by individuals in classicism such as: Cesare Beccaria. Beccaria
particular interest was classical jurisprudence; “the study, knowledge, or
science of law” (Bouvier, 1856).  The principles of classical jurisprudence is
to ensure that criminals are still treated as human beings by the criminal
justice system. For example, Jurisprudence states that “The law should guarantee
the rights of the accused at all stages of the criminal justice process”,
“The seriousness of the crime should be determined by the harm it inflicts
on others” and “The infliction of punishment upon an offender must be
free from corruption and prejudice” (Newburn, 2017), these principles show fairness and
gives the offender some justice to their crime. Beccaria handles the prevention
of crime by using 3 key ideas, the first is “certainty” of
punishment; certainty means ensuring that punishment takes place whenever a
criminal act is committed. Beccaria believes that if individuals know that
their actions will be punished they are more likely to “refrain” from
committing their potential crime. The second idea is “celerity”, this
is how quickly the punishment is inflicted which suggests that Beccaria
believes that if an individual knows how quickly a punishment can be given to
them, they will be deterred from committing the crime as they will still want
the rights to roam around freely. Finally, the third idea is
“severity”, this is influenced by how much pain is inflicted by the
offender’s crime on others. Beccaria and other “classical theorists”
believe that if punishment is certain, severe and quick, a “rational
person” will analyse the gains and losses before they act upon their criminal
act and will be deterred from performing that act if the losses are greater than
the gains. (D.
Onwudiwe).

Another classical theorist known as Jeremy Bentham. Bentham is
a British philosopher who further developed classical thinking. Bentham had an idea
known as “the pleasure-pain principle” (Newburn, 2017).  Human behaviour