I mentioned in the final post of the Psychopaths and Therapy arc that there were potential consequences of having a formal assessment of psychopathy. In the 1980s and 1990s in Texas, the consequences were especially severe – even if the diagnosis was not made through formal means. I implore all of my psychopathic brethren to keep in mind that restraint is key as the legal system is all but guaranteed to drop its hammer with a ferocity that most cannot comprehend. Why? All because you are psychopathic … or believed to be psychopathic.
It was a dark time for violent criminals in Texas during the time period mentioned above. Yes, many of the criminals that I speak of were unequivocally guilty of murder and other violent crimes, but they still deserved their due process. However, they would not get it. You see, their paths to sentencing lay through one man, Dr. Death himself.
James Grigson would testify at more than 150 capital punishment trials. He was a forensic psychiatrist that would give testimony as to whether the defendant should be eligible for capital punishment or not. In most trials, he would cite the defendant’s “psychopathy” as a means irrefutable evidence that they should be put to death lest they kill and/or maim again. Whether the defendant was actually psychopathic was nearly always open to debate as Grigson would rarely meet with the defendant to perform a proper analysis. Many would die as a result of his “expert” testimony.
This may be the worst case scenario, but it is not entirely irrelevant these days. Prosecutors often cite the higher (60-75%) recidivism rate of psychopaths when pushing for harsh sentences. Never mind that this means that 25-40% of psychopaths that get caught in the legal system reform. The fact is, we are animals in the eyes of the law and we are not treated fairly. I have many motivations for walking a restrained path these days. The legal system is one of my primary ones.
No, those of us that end up in the legal system must endure a most bloody passion play. Our trials are not fair and the sentences are rarely fair either. We are lumped into one mass of “evil” and sentenced to the gallows or to a disproportionate stay in prison. Fair shakes do not extend to the psychopath even though anyone can be antisocial if the price is right. In many areas our fates are predetermined should we choose poorly: trial, suffering, death. And no resurrection.