Same story, different day. Every time there is an act of mass murder, the same debate always pops up. Namely, neurotypicals – used here as meaning not mentally ill – want to know how they can protect themselves from the dreaded neuroatypicals. People with mental illness are categorically seen as guaranteed time bombs waiting to go off. Are there some mentally individuals that will lash out because of disordered cognitions? Yes. Are there many more that just wish to live their lives free of the pressures of a neurotypical elite and majority? Also yes. Bad things happen to good people every day. A free society will never be able to protect themselves fully, but they can ensure that the playing field is level.
This post is a logical continuation of yesterday’s post.
It would be fallacious to assume that all of the 23% of psychopaths who aren’t in prison are well-adapted, just as it would be as fallacious to assume that all of those in prison are necessarily maladapted. Luck and proclivity play a part here. While rarer these days, I still have a penchant for some activities that are contrary to the law; in this sense I believe that the successful psychopath is merely less criminal on average. Certainly one can be psychopathic without having broken any laws ever, but this is a difficult path to walk and the psychopathic mind with its selfishness is certainly primed for antisocial and/or criminal activity.
Nevertheless, I find it difficult to communicate with those that are more inclined to be lawbreakers than me. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I have a mental block when it comes to understanding those voices that demand some bloodletting from time to time. I understand fully those that leave me messages on social media proclaiming agreement with my notion of relative restraint, but I have a very difficult time understanding those that legitimately struggle with their violent or destructive fantasies. This often makes me feel like a heretic, not just in relation to society but in relation to my fellow psychopaths as well.
I’ve been quiet for a few days as a sudden and sharp bipolar downturn combined with my Borderline Personality Disorder firing at its worst left me more or less non-functional. I scheduled an emergency session with my therapist in order to protect myself from myself. When I am both depressed and self-multilating, the probability of a particularly bad outcome is much higher than zero. Triage was applied and I’m doing better now, but the whole reason I bring all of this up is due to one exchange in particular that she and I had.
Let’s say that there are two possible outcomes when sentencing a criminal. Either he receives a sentence that is not “fatal” (e.g. death penalty or some form of life in prison; actual or effective) or one that is. If he receives the more “lenient” sentence, he has the opportunity to show his rehabilitated side upon release – or he could choose to reoffend. However, the choice the incarcerated makes upon release is obviously not known until such time comes, so we have to either go for broke with sentencing, writing the individual off as lost, or anticipate possible recovery. I understand that this is a difficult decision for the courts to make.
However, the courts are not immune from the pressures of the populace. In areas of the world where judges are elected, the voting population ultimately has a direct influence on whether the judge will opt towards a hopeful sentence or a damning one. In this sense, the judge is ultimately handcuffed and the politics of the voters dictate the fate of criminals. Of course, I am excluding the proclivities of the judge, but what I wish to explore is the power of society’s will on the fate of rehabilitating criminals.
There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that refuses to honor the price paid by the convicted. What purpose is there in releasing a person from prison only for them to be devoured by the neurotypicals that refuse to acknowledge the possibility of rehabilitation? Sentences, in this sense, are for life. For a society that claims to be better than the antisocial, this seems awfully hypocritical.