The Influence of Criminal History on the Likelihood of Committing Lethal Versus Nonlethal Violence



Soenita M. Ganpat, Marieke Liem, Joanne van der Leun, Paul Nieuwbeerta

Homicide Studies

May 2014



This study focuses on the criminal history of serious violent offenders. Our aim is to determine: (a) to what extent the criminal history of lethally violent offenders differs from nonlethally violent offenders and (b) to what extent one’s criminal history influences the likelihood that violence ends lethally. We use criminal record data of offenders convicted of lethal violence (i.e., homicide offenders, N = 2,049) and offenders convicted of nonlethal violence (i.e., attempted homicide offenders, N = 3,387). The results suggest that nonlethally violent offenders have a more severe criminal history and that offender’s criminal history can be influential in predicting lethal versus nonlethal outcomes.





Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee