The crime of the Shafia murder case took place in Kingston, Ohio on June 30th, 2009. Three daughters of Mohammad Shafia were the victims along with the first wife. This case is one of the many examples of crime against women. For years, the reasons behind the occurrence of these crimes have been an area of interest for sociologists and criminologists. This essay analyses the Shafia murder case and establishes the theory it most relates to.
A French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, postulates that crime is an unavoidable part of any society because individuals do not follow a collective sentiment. The Shafia murder case was a result of such differing sets of values among the family members. The divide began when women of the family sought freedom in the western world; this concept clashed with the family’s values. Another sociologist, Robert K. Merton developed the strain-anomie theory which posits that deviant behavior is the result of the societal strain put on people. This theory too relates to the murder resulted from the strain resulting from the cultural difference.
The theory most suited to explain the cases of honor killing is the rational choice theory and it considers criminal behavior as an outcome of a consciously made choice. This entails that the person before committing the crime is aware of its pros and cons. Also, the crime benefits the perpetrator in some way. This theory is unique as it seeks to analyze the crime itself rather than studying the criminal. The rational choice theory accounts well for the murder case of the Shafia family as the three convicts had radical views but they are in a perfectly sound mental state. The family made attempts to restore honor before the murders however, later through a series of planned events the murder was carried out and was posed as an accident to avoid blame. The conscious planning highlights the choice made by the convicts as they planned the vacation, bought a new car, and even influenced the media reports. They weighed the benefits and the costs and ultimately carried out the killings.