|Alphonse “Al” Capone
By: Devin Wylie
Background: Al Capone grew up in a rough neighborhood and was a member of two “kid gangs”. He quit school at age fourteen.
Early Crime: After quitting school he became part of the notorious Five Point Gang. Al Worked for gangster Frankie Yale at his inn. While working there he got his infamous facial scars that earned him the nickname “Scarface”. His first arrest was for disorderly conduct. He also murdered two men in New York but was never tried. Al hospitalized a rival gang member and was sent to Chicago in 1919 until things “cooled”
Convicted Crimes: Al went to work for John Torrio and soon became his protégé. Torrio left Chicago and Al inherited the “outfit”. He was even better than Torrio and he expanded the industry. He was involved in many murders but was never put in jail because of them. He went to prison in 1929 for carrying a gun but his final prison sentence was for income tax evasion during 1925- 1929. He was indicted in 1931.
Evidence: Al received a misdemeanor for failing to file tax returns during 1928-29 and he owed $215,080 in taxes. He was also charged with conspiracy to violate prohibition laws (1922-31). The evidence that convicted his of tax evasion was having found a receipt ledger with his name on it, his own lawyer admitted that he had an income, and there were witnesses.
Sentence: The jury found Mr. Capone not guilty on 18 of 23 counts. He was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and one year in county jail. He was sent to Atlanta, one of the toughest federal prisons, but was then sent to Alcatraz. He was transferred to Terminal Island in California because he displayed signs of syphilitic dementia and had to be in a hospital. He finished his sentence there and returned home. He eventually had health issues and died on January 25, 1947.
Quote: “I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.” –Al Capone
Nickname: Al, Scarface
Sociological theory of deviance connection:
I believe that Al Capone showed behaviors that relate to the Anomie theory and the Differential- Association theory of Deviance. The Anomie theory talks about how there is a strain between culturally defined goals and the “legitimate” opportunities to reach them. Within this theory, the point of conformity is exhibited by Al Capone. He had goals that he wanted to pursue, but since he dropped out of school at an early age, there were not many legal opportunities to reach them. He also showed the innovation point of this theory. He wanted to become wealthy, but he turned to illegal means of doing this because he couldn’t do it any other way.
The other theory that I think Al Capone exhibits is the Differential- Association theory. This theory talks about how people’s behavior is largely determined by the other people that they hang out with. Criminal behavior is learned, and this allows them to acquire criminal techniques, motives, drives, and attitudes. People also learn their values from the people who have the greatest influence over them, also depending on the frequency, length, and intensity. Every one of these facts reflects on Mr. Capone. His whole life he has been around people who participate in deviant acts. Also the people, who he looked up to the most, were all mobsters.