SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article #1: Healey, J., Beauregard, E., Beech, A., & Vettor, S. (2016). Is the sexual borderer a unique type of offender? A typology of violent sexual offenders using crime scene behaviors. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 26(6), 512-533. doi:10.1177/1079063214547583

Abstract: The empirical literature on sexual homicide has posited the sexual murderer as a unique type of offender who is qualitatively different from other types of offenders. However, recent research has suggested that sexual homicide is a dynamic crime and that sexual assaults can escalate to homicide when specific situational factors are present. This study simultaneously explored the utility of the sexual murderer as a unique type of offender hypothesis and sexual homicide as a differential outcome of sexual assaults hypothesis. This study is based on a sample of 342 males who were convicted of committing a violent sexual offense, which resulted in either physical injury or death of the victim. A series of latent class analyses were performed using crime scene indicators in an attempt to identify discrete groups of sexual offenders. In addition, the effects of modus operandi, situational factors, and offender characteristics on each group were investigated. Results suggest that both hypotheses are supported. A group of offenders was identified who almost exclusively killed their victims and demonstrated a lethal intent by the choice of their offending behavior. Moreover, three other groups of sex offenders were identified with a diverse lethality level, suggesting that these cases could end up as homicide when certain situational factors were present.


Journal Article #2: Kopp, P. M. (2016). Is burglary a violent crime? An empirical investigation of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s classification of burglary as a violent felony. Criminal Justice Policy Review. doi:10.1177/0887403416684594

Abstract: Traditionally considered a non-violent property offense, burglary is nonetheless classified as a violent crime under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). The ACCA, a three-strikes law that provides a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, is triggered when an offender, who has been previously convicted for a crime classified under the ACCA as either a “violent felony” or “serious drug offense,” is convicted at the federal level for any felony committed while in possession of a firearm. The present study investigated the ACCA’s classification of burglary as violent through analysis of National Crime Victimization Survey data for the period of 2009 to 2014. Results showed that burglary is overwhelmingly a non-violent offense. The national incidence of actual violence or threats of violence during a burglary was 7.9%. At most, 2.7% of burglaries involved actual acts of violence. Legislative reform of the ACCA classification to match the empirical description of burglary is discussed.