The Importance Of Murder In Defending Jacob By William Landay

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The definition of murder is the killing of someone unlawfully with premeditation. In the novel, Defending Jacob by William Landay, the main character’s, Andy Barber, son, Jacob Barber, is accused of the murder of a young boy, Ben Rifkin. Jacob is accused due to the findings of a bloody fingerprint on Ben’s dead body along with Andy finds a knife similar to the one that killed Ben. Andy then reveals that not only his father, but grandfather and great-grandfather were all sentenced to prison for murder. The results in court conclude that their family genes must contain “MAOA; a gene also known as the warrior gene because it has been associated with violence” (Hagerty). A person born with this “murder gene” is more likely to commit murder because …show more content…
It is said that the environment the individual is raised in or how the individual was raised is the outcome of the individual’s decisions in life (Hunter). It is common sense that the way the individual was raised can affect the base of the way they live, but what if that individual was raised in a perfect home with no spankings or any punishments and was never around any bad environment. Let’s just say that this individual grew to be successful and accomplished all their goals but, for some reason, or no reason at all, committed murder. What could be the explanation of that? These individuals were never abused as a child or there were no signs of any trauma but ended up committing murder. The answer is the individual contains the “murder gene”, MAOA. Studies have shown that the “murder gene” or MAOA are linked to antisocial and violent behavior. The reason being that “the gene produces monoamine oxidase A or MAOA, which is an enzyme in the brain that affects the neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin (Powledge). The studies were conducted back in 1993 due to a Dutch family that was known to be notorious for violence. It started back in 1978, where a woman walked into University Hospital in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where she went …show more content…
Some experts believe that in some countries all the violent crime committed is by a small group of antisocial individuals and “a rare combination of genes could account for this” (Keegan). Their finds were that the gene MAOA doesn’t have any influence towards violent crimes so they concluded that it was more than likely to be caused but social factors (Keegan). Reports stated: "No substantial signal was observed for either MAOA or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending, and not largely attributable to substance abuse or antisocial personality disorder" (Keegan). The reports finalized that about 5-10% of all serious violent crimes were connected to the MAOA gene, in Finland

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