Jim asked in Social SciencePsychology · 8 months ago

Are Psychopaths/Sociopaths Officially Diagnosed?

What I don't understand is that for people like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, they were found to be "legally sane" during their crimes.  I guess it was mainly due to the fact that they were in full control of their faculties and didn't suffer from delusions.

Isn't the inability to feel remorse/empathy some form of an illness, however.  How can they be "sane".

2 Answers

  • Ontol
    Lv 6
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    I've had this arguement as well. How is there a plee of insanity for murderers? Surely you have to be damn nutty to seriously consider it.

    In my observation the system fairs worse on certain types, no one ever got less time for insanity; guilty or not. 

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    The insanity defense contains at its core an intractable tension between the insane as sick and the insane as criminally deviant. The very phrase mentally-ill offender epitomizes the social vectors of therapeutic concern for and punitive attack against those who deviate from our sexual habits, deprive us of our property, or threaten our physical well-being. They suffer from a mental disease defined in terms of criminality. These individuals have traditionally been treated differently from the insane and incompetent. Neither sociopath or psychopath is rigidly defined, though both appear frequently in the literature. To the extent the conditions are objectively meaningful, they can be found in the DSM-IV-TR4 under antisocial personality disorder. The ostensive purpose of the insanity defense is to exclude from criminal sanction those we adjudge to fall short of some threshold of personal or moral responsibility for the crime which they committed.   

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