Cesare Lombroso Biography
(Criminologist, Phrenologist, Physician)
Birthday: November 6, 1835 (Scorpio)
Born In: Verona, Italy
Cesare Lombroso, also known as Ezechia Marco Lombroso, was an Italian criminologist, surgeon, and author. He is regarded as the father of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. He was an opponent of the classical school of thought and rejected the idea that crime and criminal behavior was human nature. He proposed that criminality was instead inherited and coined the term "born criminal." He supported his claims using theories of degeneration and Social Darwinism. His supporters like Enrico Ferri and Raffaele Garofalo were also part of the positivist school of thought. He developed the concept of atavism that determined delinquent behavior through physiognomy and anthropometric qualities. Several criminologists and scholars critiqued him. His studies and works were essential in shifting the focus from the legal education of crime to scientific research of crime and criminals. His research was based on empirical evidence and the application of experimental methods. He emphasized on the scientific analysis of evidence procured through careful observation. His later works acknowledged the different socio-economic factors that contributed to degeneration and differentiated between "born criminals" and circumstantial criminals when it came to dispensing legal punishment. He propagated humane treatment of the criminally insane and encouraged limiting death penalty sentences.