Born: Hans Gustav Adolf Gross 26 December 1847 Graz, Austrian Empire
Died: 9 December 1915 (aged 67) Graz, Austrian-Hungarian Empire
Occupation: Criminal jurist
Hans Gustav Adolf Gross or Groß (26 December 1847 – 9 December 1915), known as the “Founding Father” of criminal profiling, was an Austrian criminal lawyer and criminologist. Gross, a criminal jurist, is credited with inventing the field of crime. Hans Gross made major contributions to the field of scientific criminology throughout his life. Gross became aware of the flaws in the legal system as his career as an examining justice progressed. Through his experience as a justice, his book, classes, institutions, and tactics contributed to the improvement of the justice system.
Early Life and Career
Gross was born in Styria, Austria, on December 26, 1847. Hans Gross was a young adult when he graduated from his hometown’s University in Upper Styria in 1870 as a jurist (Examining Justice). His legal education extended two decades and resulted in a wealth of knowledge. Gross was the Examining Justice of Styria, which meant he was both a judge and a prosecutor for all crimes that came before him. Several fraudulent charges were brought against him throughout his service. Gross recognized the many problems with the present justice system while working in this position.
The Examining Justice was a criminal investigator at the time. There were extremely few crime investigators at the time. Many of the law enforcement officers were volunteers or former police. As a result, jurists were primarily responsible for solving and prosecuting any offenses that were presented before them. Because many magistrates relied on their knowledge and little facts or evidence, this approach proved insufficient. Gross’ active effort in criminal science resulted from his lack of organization.
Gross made significant contributions to the establishment of various criminology institutions throughout his lifetime. Gross mostly accomplished this by repeating the criminal forensics procedure. He taught and founded various institutes that expanded the field of criminology influence. Gross was a professor at Chernivtsi University (1897–1902), Prague University (1902–1905), and the University of Graz from 1902 to 1905, where he taught and engaged in constructive debate (1905 to 1915). Later, in 1898, he founded the Graz Institute of Criminology. He began teaching criminal law in August 1898, where he presented the topic of criminalities. Many others, however, were opposed to this idea becoming research, believing that it only benefited those who were involved in the court system. Despite opposing views, Gross established the field of criminalities, branding him forever as the “Founding Father” of criminal profiling.
Contributions to Criminology
Early in his profession, Gross observed the faults in the legal system. The deep investigation, professional ethics, and the scientific method were all priorities in his work. From a technical perspective, he characterized criminal psychology as “pure research.” Along with studying a person’s behavior, Gross emphasized the importance of exercising caution when interpreting evidence, which is frequently misleading. The “crime scene” was also born from his perspective on the study, technological evidence, and procedures. Gross highlights the importance of combining emotion with facts and evidence with logic while discussing the concept of a crime scene.
Gross thoroughly established the concept of criminalistics in 1893, during which time the field of criminology grew in popularity. Criminalistics is separated into two branches: criminal justice and political science. Even though Gross discovered a new way for the justice system to work, many people thought the area of criminalistics was useless except for examining justices. Gross did, however, contribute to the advancement of criminology for other judges. He advocated for the objective evaluation and utilization of evidence. He emphasized the need for a judge’s impartiality in proceedings. He primarily accomplished this by introducing new concepts in crime scene investigation, such as crime scene photography, fingerprints, microscopes, and X-rays.
Criminal Investigations, a Practical Textbook
The goal of Gross’s work was to include both philosophical and systematic aspects of criminology. Criminal Investigations, a Practical Textbook (Handbuch für Untersuchungsrichter als System der Kriminalistik) was published in 1893. The book was written to substitute for a lack of criminalistics knowledge. He wrote it as a teaching tool, concentrating on human nature and criminal motivations. He uses psychological and material components to illustrate his theories. In a criminal case, Gross focused on body language as well as the role of the judge and the witness. Murderers, arsonists, robbers, and counterfeiters are among the people he studies.
Gross places a great emphasis on the judges’ and witnesses’ faults and contradictions, the necessity of materialism evidence, and tying facts to reason. He believed that studying psychology enabled one to comprehend criminal impulses. He also uses science, physics, botany, secret codes, and the usage of blood to help him figure out more facts and motives. He considered that a broad education in these subjects was advantageous to everyone, especially judges and investigators.
Gross is also remembered for a public conflict with his son, psychotherapist Otto Gross. Hans Gross ordered Otto Gross’s arrest in 1913 because he deemed him legally incompetent. Otto Gross was institutionalized at the time and several times after that. The writer Franz Kafka, who was once a law student of Hans Gross, was one of Otto Gross’s close friends. In his famous work The Trial, Kafka used facts from Criminal Investigation. In the first chapter, the book also mentions Gross’s imprisonment and features a character who is partly based on Hans Gross.
As a criminologist, Hans Gross made his impact on the globe. After founding the Institute of Criminology in Graz, he is recognized with being the father of the field of criminology. He contributed to the advancement of crime investigation throughout his life, particularly in 1893, when the practice of criminology became more widespread. The introduction of new investigation and observation techniques, such as crime scene photography and fingerprint analysis, altered the way the legal system worked. The Gross Investigation Bureau, one of New York’s most famous detective agencies, is named for him.
For his studies on the subject and the publication of his book, Criminal Investigation, in 1891, Austrian professor and judge Hans Gross is widely regarded as one of the founders of criminalistics. It was the first time such a work had been published. Gross went on to publish more significant criminalistics research in the future. He also established the world’s first criminological institute at the University of Graz in Austria.
Criminalistics is the use of science to the gathering of evidence in criminal trials. Forensic science, also known as forensic science, “uses data collecting, evidence collection, scientific methodologies, and crime scene reconstruction to solve a crime,” according to Professor Arezzo, and has been utilized to solve numerous crimes accurately. Criminalistics studies evidence left at crime scenes and attempts to link physical evidence to a specific person, and it has grown more accurate than witnesses thanks to technological advancements. The study of crime, social effects, law enforcement responses, and crime prevention approaches is known as criminology. “Criminology is a field that combines social science, psychology, and criminal justice”.
Criminology, which is linked with sociology, focuses on the study and research of criminals and potential catalysts like race, socioeconomic status, and other factors. In criminal investigations, criminalistics and criminology play a significant role. They collaborate to solve crimes, with one being “reactive” and the other “proactive.” Criminalistics plays a reactive role because it deals with the solving of crimes and the reconstruction of those crimes, whereas criminology works to prevent crimes from occurring in the first place, occasionally using statistics to determine where crimes might occur and where criminals might be found after committing illegal acts. Both subjects are beneficial to one another and are essential for identification.
Criminology is the study of a variety of different theories, such as old-style, positivism, and so on, to help us appreciate why crimes are committed. It suggests that people commit crimes when they see an advantage or because of internal and external variables, such as organic elements or social aspects, according to its various hypotheses. All of this helps lawmakers and the judicial system in better understanding misconduct after enacting more strong and substantial laws. It proposes a reasonable strategy for balancing undesirable behavior with the management and prevention of law violations, depending on their gravity. By raising the severity of punishments, criminals become more aware of the potential consequences of their unlawful conduct and activities. As a result, the crime rate decreases.
Another branch of criminology, explains the reason, causes, and motive for a criminal act, as well as the mindset of the perpetrator. In its entirety, criminology encourages us to care even more about misbehavior and hoodlums. It expresses that humans can make decisions and that if they do, they risk being punished. It highlights the severity of the criminal justice system, which can assist prevent misconduct. It also prepares the legal system to take reasonable steps toward understanding and enacting legislation against violations. Modern criminology encourages us to comprehend the primary drivers of wrongdoing in all of these approaches and provides us with the best approach to handle and prevent it, along these lines additionally helping the equity conveyance framework.