Why People Break the Law

WhyPeople Break the Law

Everyday, people throng in courts to defend or accuse other people whohave gone against their will or those who trespass them. The judicialsystem is the most prevalent way of settling cases. Scholars andgreat thinkers have tried to come up with different theories thatexplain why people commit the crime (Jackson et al., 2012). Thequestion remains, why do people always break the law? Is it becausethere are so many rules to follow or is it because they don’t wantto follow the regulations? Every country has a set of local rulesthat govern it. They also have a penal code to provide for theappropriate punishments that culprits should face whenever they goagainst any section of the law. Every day, people find themselvespaying heavy fines or being put behind bars for breaking the law.Surprisingly, the free people repeat the same crimes and suffer thesame fate with their processors. So why do people commit a crime?

Manypsychologists provide explanations on why people break the law. Somefeel that people break the law because they are under pressure, orbecause they want to satisfy a need. Others think that people breakthe law because they have the methods of doing so at their disposal(Jackson et al., 2012). For example, some may possess guns and theinstruments can facilitate a crime, take for example a bank robbery.However, I think that people commit crime because they want doexactly that.

First,criminals are fully aware of the implications of their actions whenthey get caught. All citizens in one way or another are aware of thegeneral rule that govern a community. It explains why the judicialsystem cannot take young children responsible for breaking the lawbecause most of the times they are not aware of what they are doing.For adults of responsible criminal behavior, breaking the law ismostly out of consent (Cusson &amp Pinsonneault, 2014).

However,we cannot rule out situations whereby people act as a measure of lastresort to save themselves. Most of those who appear in court withcrimes, like rape, stealing, corruption, drug peddling among other doso out of the will. Although some people find themselves at thecentre of crime after being set up by other people, the majority ofthe lawbreakers accepts their fate and confesses to having broken thelaw.

Secondly,the punitive sections of the penal code are a reflection that peoplewill meet different undesirable inflictions if found guilty of acrime. The sections could not be there if people committed a crime inoblivion. It would not be just at all to punish people of somethingthey did if they had no awareness that it was against the law.Punishment comes in when one acted in full awareness and without anyreservations (Cusson &amp Pinsonneault, 2014). The premise is onethe strongest reasons as to why I think that people commit crimebecause they desire to do so.

Mentalillness is one the most common scapegoat for criminals through theirlawyers whereby even normal and sound minded people under apsychiatrist assessment to ascertain that they are not insane(Jackson et al., 2012). On this note, there are so many people whohave mental problems and yet they do not break the law. The desire tocommit a crime by an individual comes from his willingness. Takingmental illness as a reason for breaking the law, therefore, has noground, and it is misinformed. The only special case is a conditionof total insanity whereby an individual can even hurt himself or whenhe/she cannot survive without the assistance of a second party.

Outof my curiosity, I usually find time to go the courts to listen tothe lawyers arguing cases. The facts presented by the defense and thesuing party always fascinates me and. Mostly, I try to follow thearguments of the lawyers as they revolve around the application ofthe law. I have attended more than ten final hearings anddeterminations. From these episodes, I still hold onto my thoughtthat people commit crimes out of free will. The majority of the casedeterminations I have attended involve theft, drug peddling, andviolence among others. By looking at the victims and the argumentspresented by the lawyers, I always arrive at the conclusion that theyknew the implications of their behavior beforehand.

First,most lawyers seek to urge the court to reduce the severity of thepunishment given to their clients citing different issues like familyresponsibilities. Accepting liability is proof that they committedthe crime in full consent. The cross examinations always provideinformation that people were aware that they were going against thelaw when they committed the crime. The jury draws its conclusionsfrom the deliberations of the cross-examinations. More than 90% ofthe culprits whose cross-examination I have attended find themselvesin disbelief when they indirectly accept that they willingly brokethe law. The punishment handed by the court to a criminal is the mostappropriate as per the law. Conclusively, I still hold to thethought that people break the law because at will.


Cusson,M., &amp Pinsonneault, P. (2014). TheDecision to Give Up Crime. The Reasoning Criminal: Rational ChoicePerspectives on Offending.Springer Science: New York.

Jackson,J., Bradford, B., Hough, M., Myhill, A., Quinton, P., &amp Tyler, T.R. (2012). Why do people comply with the law? Legitimacy and theInfluence of legal institutions. British Journalof Criminology.14(8).123- 129.