Free Homicides Essay Sample

What Are Primary and Nonprimary Homicides?

Schmalleger (2008) defines primary homicide as a murder involving the victim and offender having a prior relationship such as family ties, friendship, or acquaintance. Primary homicides are reported frequently and are often characterized as instrumental crime because they are caused by interpersonal hostility created by minor conflicts, romantic triangles, jealousy, and revenge. On the other hand, a non-primary homicide refers to a murder involving the victim and the offender having no prior relationship and usually takes places in the event of another criminal activity like robbery (Schmalleger, 2008). Non-primary homicides are instrumental crimes since they encompass some level of pre-meditation by the offender and a low degree of victim precipitation.

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Define Victim Precipitation and Sibling Offenses, and Explain How They Relate To Homicide

According to Schmalleger (2008), victim precipitation refers to a contribution made by the victim towards the crime, particularly the involvement that led to its instigation. Victim precipitation attempts to explore homicide by placing emphasis on the characteristics of the victims that may have led to their victimization. The goal is not to place the blame on the victim, rather to examine both individual and circumstantial factors that caused the crime. It is evident that victim precipitation is directly connected to primary homicides (Beeghley, 2003). A sibling offense refers to an incident that ends in homicide (Schmalleger, 2008). The incident may be a criminal activity such as robbery, or an incident having a less stringent quarrel between lovers involving physical attacks or battery. Sibling offenses help in explaining why some criminal acts end up in murder while others do not lead to homicides.

What Do Statistics Reveal About Homicide Victims and Offenders and the Relationship Between Them?

Homicide statistics point out that victims and offenders share the same socio-demographic aspects such as gender, age, and race with African Americans having a disproportionate representation in homicide statistics as both offenders and victims (Schmalleger, 2008). Second, homicide statistics indicate that there is a disproportionate representation of offenders and victims intimately known. Supplemental homicide reports indicate that about 55 percent of homicides involve some prior relationship between the killer and the victim, which is a characteristic of primary homicides.


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