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Criminal Insanity

“Some traits or dispositions are inherited, but the continuity of behavior, including
antisocial activity, is maintained by social contexts and other aspects of the
Criminal insanity is a topic which sparks much heated debate.What causes
insanity?Is insanity a physical or psychological problem?Is insanity actually a disease,
or just a figment of a persons imagination?Groliers Encyclopedia describes insanity as
“a mental defect or disorder sufficient to prevent a person from knowing the difference
between right and wrong conduct or from understanding the nature of his or her actions.”
This definition is one which would seem to be a good representation of what insanity
truly is.Insanity applies to criminals in an interesting way.If a criminal does not know
the difference between right and wrong then can they be held accountable for the crimes
they commit?If they don’t understand that what they are doing is a crime then should
they be punished as if they were criminals or treated as patients with a disease?This
problem is one that has plagued courts, lawyers, juries and defendants for a long time and
does not appear to be any closer to a solution.
A common belief as to why peoplefirst become criminally insane is because of
the way they were treated as children.Many examples to support this theory can be
found throughout history.One example is the infamous Charles Manson.Charles
Mansons’ home life was anything but normal; he was, in fact, the son of a “teenage,
bisexual, alcoholic prostitute, and was once traded for a pitcher of beer” (“Charles…”).
Another example is Henry Lee Lucas, a famous serial killer, who “as a child, lost an eye
after a severe beating from his mother” (“Serial…”).Finally, Pedro Alonso Lopez,
believed to be the key player in over 300 murders was “kicked out of his house when only
8 years old” (“Serial…”).These cases, as well as many oth…

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