Criminal Justice and Honor Killing Essays

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Criminal homicide is defined as killing of one person by another without any legal justification or excuse. Murder is felonious killing of another with malice aforethought (Nettler, 1982). It may be result of any violent crime like robbery or rape etc. Homicides involving honour is important research area for social scientists especially. Honour-killing results in criminal victimization of females and males especially in rural pockets of population in Sindh. Honour-oriented homicide victimization necessitates multiple arguments and perspectives discussing various aspects/dimensions of the criminal violence and resulting victimization. Homicide Female Honour Victimization in Sindh is result of dangerous/violent male offending originating from multiple individual, psychological, socio-cultural, ecological and economic factors. The social learning prepares the offending mindset that there would be no reaction of significance from community and criminal justice. Honour-related female victimization prevails largely in the lowest and lower middle class families in rural Sindh. Thinly, it may prevail as cultural norm in rich families continuing the old tribal practice. Honour killing in Sindh involves hostile aggression which “occurs in response to anger-inducing conditions, such as insults, physical attacks, or personal failures” (Bartol, 1996). The male-dominated cultural and customary value system in some highly backward pockets of society defines honour and unleashes violence to justify the crime against the weakest segment of society. The victims’-offender nature is usually closest-blood relations having intra-family and inter-family dimensions. The violent crime is often the result of impulsive, spur-of-moment and unpredictable acts of enraged individuals (Bartol, 1996).
Victimology is growing sub-discipline within Criminology that studies role of victim in his/her victimization. It includes within its scope the analysis of victim characteristics and victim profiling (Talwar, 2006). It deals with victim-offender relationship and interactions with criminal justice system, media and society at large (Karmen, 1990). The violent episodes are well-learned and strategic outcomes for some individuals to effectively deal with conflictual situations in inter-personal relationship. The violence is thus habitually patterned response towards particular situations (Toch, 1969). The victim may initiate, provoke, and facilitate crime through negligence, carelessness and even vulnerability. The victims actively participate creating situations of victimization (Block, 1980) and conditions for his/her victimization (Fattah, 1979). These recently added dimensions are relevant to honour-related victims where they challenge moral fabric of society, involve in risk-taking behavior and engage in negligence causing their ultimate death.
Victim-precipitation is defined as “the case where victim is first in the homicide drama to resort to physical force against the subsequent slayer” (Wolfgang, 1957). The threats and humiliations thus invite violent reactions initiated by individuals asserting as family heads. The idea of victim-precipitation was coined by Wolfgang in 1958. He used the term in the sense where the victim was causing the crime and was responsible as main precipitator. In purview of above definition honour-killing and resulting deaths do not blame victims for their role and responsibility in their victimization. The honour violation triggers