[ExI] Implications of Sociopath Testing

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Aug 20 09:57:05 UTC 2008

2008/8/20 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:

> In your sentencing, do you take into account the fact that he or she
> is a sociopath?

It depends on whether the judge believes the person's psychological
state will make them more or less likely to offend again. If more
likely he should go for a longer sentence, if less likely he should go
for a shorter sentence, all else being equal. The alternative approach
of granting a sociopath a lesser sentence on the grounds that he
couldn't help his behaviour is spurious. Even the most extreme
sociopathic criminal usually makes some effort to avoid getting
caught, so they do at least understand that what they are doing is
considered wrong and are deterred by the thought of punishment. This
is not so if someone experiencing a psychotic episode with command
hallucinations, for example; and even in that case we generally detain
them until they are no longer dangerous.

Stathis Papaioannou

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