Stream of Consciousness: Bleeding or Rehabilitating the Criminal?

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.

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The Tiger and the Zookeeper … Society’s Treatment of the Psychopath

The following reader question was sent to me by a Tumblr follower.  I touched on egalitarianism a bit in my previous post, but here we are going to examine the consequences a bit further, especially as it pertains to society’s approach toward identifying and punishing the psychopath.

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A Pound of Flesh … When Sentences are Not Enough

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.

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Punishing the Psychopath

Why are psychopaths punished disproportionately for the crimes they commit?  Yesterday, I saw this post circulating around tumblr.  It depicts a series of pictures of pit bulls and describes the heroic actions that each of the pit bulls are responsible for.  At the end of the series of pictures, there is a single statement that says “punish the deed, not the breed.”  This got me, of course, to thinking about the faults of many judicial systems that give disproportionate sentences to the antisocial.  Should not the crime be punished solely in a vacuum?  Why are previous patterns or existing diagnoses considered for the sole purpose of inflicting as much retribution as possible onto the convicted?  Retribution is not justice.

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A Dangerous Trend … Wolves’ Clothing (Part 2)

I originally wrote on this subject over a year ago.  As of the past few years, many teenagers and young adults are gravitating toward the label of psychopathy for reasons of being trendy.  This is ultimately dangerous and ill-sighted for many of the reasons that I wrote about last year.  Ultimately, those that end up wearing wolves’ clothing are merely disrobed before being devoured by the real wolves.  That is, those with psychopathy are unamused by those trying to pull a fast one.

Imagine a professional musician having amateurs comparing themselves to him.  Would he react with flattery or with hostility, knowing that they are not remotely as talented or driven as he is?  I guarantee that extending this analogy to psychopaths would end in hostility.  Those that have been either diagnosed with ASPD and assessed as having psychopathy or have spent innumerable hours in deep introspection to come to a conclusion regarding their personality most certainly would not be amused by those that are merely wearing the label falsely.  Yes, in the musician’s example, an amateur may be able to reach the same level as the professional through countless hours of practice, but this does not hold true for the faux wolf.  A neurotypical will always be a neurotypical (barring traumatic brain injury).  No amount of attempting to play the part will ever result in a true metamorphosis into psychopathy.

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