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Homicide: Richard Ramirez Case Analysis

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The act of taking another human being’s life has been around since the first murder as shown in the bible when Cain killed his brother Abel because God preferred his offering over Cain’s. Today homicide or murder has evolved into something more complicated and horrendous so much that a criminal justice system has also evolved to bring justice onto those who do commit murder.

One case in particular that shows how murder has truly grown since Cain and Abel is the case of Richard Ramirez also known as The Night Stalker. Ramirez was someone who took the lives of at least 14 people earning him the title of serial killer. His victims were mostly women and before killing them he would usually burglarize and or rape them and once he was done he would shoot, stab, or beat them to death. While in the end he was caught and turned over to the criminal justice system he was still able to show just how little regard he had for the lives he ruined. This case is one that shows just how much homicide has changed not only in the system of convicting but also in the mind of the murderers themselves.

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For this case study I will analyze the way Ramirez had left horrible emotional and psychological trauma onto not only the communities involved but to those who survived his attacks. I will also research how newspapers and television were able to idolize Ramirez and cause the public and even some people in his convicting jury to do so as well thus causing a block on how effective the criminal justice system would be on his trial. I will also research how the California Criminal Justice System gave Ramirez the death penalty but yet he died while in death row after 23 years; leaving the question of just how effective is the death penalty. This case is important to study because just like many cases before and after it; it calls into question if the criminal justice system is truly doing everything in their power to bring due justice to murderers and if they are really trying to prevent anymore homicides from occurring as means to ensure public safety and social order.


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