Al Capone: Theories

Al Capone was born in 1899 Brooklyn, New York to Italian immigrant dad and mom. His father was a barber while his mother sewed clothes for dwelling, to offer for their 9 youngsters. Al was good at school until he began hanging out by the docks. He by no means went back to school after a trainer hit him for being rude, and him getting a beating from the precept after he hit the instructor again. His criminals career began being part of native small gangs, getting his infamous scar working as bouncer.

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After being invited to Chicago by gangster Johnny Torrio who he considered as a mentor, co-running his bootleg business. They both lead a terror campaign to have people vote for the candidate they wished. Causing multiple individuals to get injured and killed and ensuing in the demise of Al’s brother after being killed by the Chicago police.

After Torrio handed control of the gang to Al, they gang dominated the unlawful alcohol trade in Chicago.

After the killing of 7 rival gang members it what Is generally known as the St. Valentine’s day Massacre the public turned their opinion of Al Capone into a unfavorable one. He was indicted on June 5th, 1931 on 22 counts of tax evasion with an eleven yr sentence. Spending the first two years in Atlanta before serving 5 in Alcatraz. Being released in 1939 to a mental hospital for three years earlier than shifting to Miami. Where he died of cardiac arrest in January twenty fifth 1947 aged 48. Leaving behind a legacy of terror, violence, and death from his and different mobs in Chicago and the nation.

Differential Association Theory

As the first concept I will be using to explain Al Capone habits the Differential Association principle. The concept according to Edward Sutherland explains how behavior is discovered by way of interactions we’ve in life. A primary precept of this concept would be criminal habits is realized from others, similar to how we realized to learn and speak (Sutherland 1939). Al Capone at his youth had a infamous mobster named Johnny Torrio who took him beneath his wing and mentored him. During this time Johnny would teach Al Capone what he knew in regards to the mobster life. Which later in life Al Capone can be his right-hand man before taking on himself turning into the leader of the Chicago mob.

Another Basic principle of this principle states that the criminal habits realized isn’t realized from imitation however from follow like how we learn other issues like studying or writing. (Siegel 2017 p. 240) Al Capone began his career in the mob being a half of smaller gangs working up the ranks underneath Frankie Yale. Until he later moved to Chicago to hitch Johnny where he turned his right-hand man and took over after Johnny handed control to him. Making him boss of the Chicago mob at age 26. All this as a outcome of Johnny’s mentorship over Al Capone made him an efficient boss, this couldn’t have been achieved if Al Capone just imitated Johnny. Johnny mentored and taught Al every little thing he knew in regards to the mob life.

Rational Choice Theory

Another theory which I will use to explain Al Capone’s conduct could be the rational selection principle. This principle explains that selections might be rational and never random or out of impulse. Choosing crime because there is a larger reward with the small risk of getting caught, enticing these capable of committing crimes to make the selection and commit them. (Siegel 2017 p. 105) During the early 20th century mobsters committed crimes with little danger as most officers have been corrupt taking bribes or being intimidated into letting crimes go. Due to this Al probably made the choice of committing crimes since there was little threat of him getting in bother and if he did, it wouldn’t be something critical. His first arrest was because of hitting a parked taxi while he was driving beneath the influence, his mentor Torrio used his connections to have Al freed.

But additionally, one can also say gaining wealth or energy aren’t the motivations behind every little thing. I love watching soccer in the course of the weekends, it doesn’t give me any energy or wealth, but it makes me happy. Maybe for Al Capone it wasn’t all in regards to the money or wealth, and he committed crimes because it made him joyful. All we all know is that Al dedicated these crimes whether it was for personal acquire or pleasure, it had a fantastic effect on plenty of people

Lombroso Theory

Cesare Lombroso theorized persons are born criminals with bodily traits, that made them criminals. Such has having massive jaws or robust canine enamel, evaluating these traits to primitive savage individuals. (Siegel 2017 p. 142) While Al Capone wasn’t a mannequin I’m positive his bodily appearance had no impact on him being born a felony. Maybe the scar on his face he got from a barfight working as a bouncer. Might have made him resent the fact he must reside with a scar on his face he didn’t want. But I don’t think getting a scar might result in legal activity, I obtained a scar on my brow as a four-year-old and it by no means made me a foul kid and I’m also positive it won’t affect my kids.

Genetic Theory of Crime

This concept states human traits related to criminality have a genetic basis. The direct view of the crime explains delinquent being inherited and directly connecting antisocial conduct to genetic abnormality. The indirect view explains genes are related to some traits which is linked to antisocial habits (Siegel 2017 p.153) While Al Capone had brother, who was involved in the mob life with him. I don’t suppose genetics played a job in Al’s felony life, he was round mafiosos he looked up to all his life. He was taken underneath the wing of one who taught him every little thing he knows. These interactions are what made him a legal nothing inherited from his mother and father who lived honest lives.


Al Capone lived an infamous life in Chicago, being the City’s most notorious gangster controlling the illegal Alcohol commerce. His habits could be explained with the Differential association theory, he was taught on the way to turn into a gangster ultimately changing into a simpler chief than his mentor Torrio. He additionally might be defined with the rational alternative concept, Al made all his decisions being rational. Making his selections to benefit him and his gang figuring out there was little risk of them getting in hassle, so he took them in benefit for all. The Lombroso concept cannot clarify Al’s habits reasoning bodily appearance neither can the genetic concept. We inherit many things however genetics didn’t make Al a criminal, it was his environment round him rising up that lead him to be a felony.


  1. Al Capone. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.historical
  2. Siegel, L. J. (2018). Criminology: Theories, patterns, and typologies. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.