To kill or not to kill? Lethal outcomes in injurious attacks

Richard B. Felson, Steven F. Messner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research explores the utility of the notion of lethal intent for understanding the outcomes of injurious attacks. We suggest that assailants sometimes kill rather than merely injure victims to avoid either retaliation or criminal prosecution. We hypothesize that, for these tactical reasons, offenders will be more likely to kill when they have no accomplices, when their victims are male or black, and when the victim can identify them. These hypotheses are tested with a merged data set containing information on homicides and nonlethal victimizations involving robbery, rape, and pure assault. The results of multiple logistic regression analyses are largely consistent with theoretical expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-545
Number of pages27
JournalCriminology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Fingerprint

Crime Victims
Rape
Homicide
Logistic Models
Regression Analysis
Research
accomplice
retaliation
prosecution
assault
rape
victimization
homicide
offender
logistics
regression
Datasets

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

Cite this

Felson, Richard B. ; Messner, Steven F. / To kill or not to kill? Lethal outcomes in injurious attacks. In: Criminology. 1996 ; Vol. 34, No. 4. pp. 519-545.
@article{3ac5134b0de34a9a9c881615b805beff,
title = "To kill or not to kill? Lethal outcomes in injurious attacks",
abstract = "This research explores the utility of the notion of lethal intent for understanding the outcomes of injurious attacks. We suggest that assailants sometimes kill rather than merely injure victims to avoid either retaliation or criminal prosecution. We hypothesize that, for these tactical reasons, offenders will be more likely to kill when they have no accomplices, when their victims are male or black, and when the victim can identify them. These hypotheses are tested with a merged data set containing information on homicides and nonlethal victimizations involving robbery, rape, and pure assault. The results of multiple logistic regression analyses are largely consistent with theoretical expectations.",
author = "Felson, {Richard B.} and Messner, {Steven F.}",
year = "1996",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1111/j.1745-9125.1996.tb01218.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "34",
pages = "519--545",
journal = "Criminology",
issn = "0011-1384",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

To kill or not to kill? Lethal outcomes in injurious attacks. / Felson, Richard B.; Messner, Steven F.

In: Criminology, Vol. 34, No. 4, 11.1996, p. 519-545.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - To kill or not to kill? Lethal outcomes in injurious attacks

AU - Felson, Richard B.

AU - Messner, Steven F.

PY - 1996/11

Y1 - 1996/11

N2 - This research explores the utility of the notion of lethal intent for understanding the outcomes of injurious attacks. We suggest that assailants sometimes kill rather than merely injure victims to avoid either retaliation or criminal prosecution. We hypothesize that, for these tactical reasons, offenders will be more likely to kill when they have no accomplices, when their victims are male or black, and when the victim can identify them. These hypotheses are tested with a merged data set containing information on homicides and nonlethal victimizations involving robbery, rape, and pure assault. The results of multiple logistic regression analyses are largely consistent with theoretical expectations.

AB - This research explores the utility of the notion of lethal intent for understanding the outcomes of injurious attacks. We suggest that assailants sometimes kill rather than merely injure victims to avoid either retaliation or criminal prosecution. We hypothesize that, for these tactical reasons, offenders will be more likely to kill when they have no accomplices, when their victims are male or black, and when the victim can identify them. These hypotheses are tested with a merged data set containing information on homicides and nonlethal victimizations involving robbery, rape, and pure assault. The results of multiple logistic regression analyses are largely consistent with theoretical expectations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0039648482&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0039648482&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1996.tb01218.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1996.tb01218.x

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0039648482

VL - 34

SP - 519

EP - 545

JO - Criminology

JF - Criminology

SN - 0011-1384

IS - 4

ER -