Denial of the Victim. Even if offenders accept responsibility for injuries caused by their actions, it may be neutralized by their insisting the injury was not wrong due to the circumstances. Offenders may claim there was no injury since their actions were in the form of justified retaliations or punishments.
Denial of victim may facilitate an offender’s deviance when the offender feels he/she can justify the action as retaliation upon a deserving victim (Thurman, 1984, p. 292). Offenders may view themselves as avengers of some wrong doing by their victims, acting as if they were modern day Robin Hoods. Also, if the victim is not present when the offender commits a crime, such as only cheating when the professor is out of the room, the offender may deny to him/herself that there was an actual victim (Cite). In some crimes, such as college student cheating, the offender may not have to deny the victim at all since there is no real target of the crime (Cite). Dehumanization of the victim is a form of denial of the victim. Students may feel a professor is mean, unfair, and does not deserve the usual protection of the norms of society. Neither Labeff et al. (Cite) nor McCabe (Cite)could find any evidence of denial of the victim in their surveys of student cheaters. However, Coston and Jenks (Cite)found that ten percent of their respondents denied the victim, but they pointed out this could be explained by their use of open-ended questions.
Condemnation of the Condemners. Offenders may shift the blame from themselves to the motives and behaviors of those who condemn their behavior by viewing their condemners as being hypocritical or spiteful. These feelings can gradually harden into bitter cynicism toward enforcers of the rules (Cite), which allows the offenders to project blame for their actions upon law-makers and law-enforcers (Cite).
Condemnation of the condemner was the second most common justification given by the student cheaters in the Labeff et al. (Cite) survey. The students claimed their instructors were unfair, unethical, and uncaring, which forced them (the students) to cheat. In the McCabe (Cite) survey, 28 percent of the student cheaters used condemnation of the condemner as justification for their cheating, using pointless assignments and no respect for professor as their main reasons for the condemnation.
Appeal to Higher Loyalties. Offenders may sacrifice the demands of the larger society for the demands of a smaller social group to which they associate. The offenders do not necessarily repudiate the larger society, rather, they see themselves as being caught up in a dilemma between their loyalties to the two groups, which then causes them to break the law (Cite). The offenders feel their deviant behavior is legitimized because a nonconventional social bond dictates greater relevance to them than one more consistent with conventional society (Cite).