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Psychopaths 101

Psychopaths: Mental or Manipulative?

Home | Personality: You must be a real psycho! | Psychopaths | Famous Psychopaths | Distorted Perceptions | Psychotic or Not?

It's easy enough to pretend that you are crazy. People already think you're crazy if you're going around killing people. However, can we really prove that you're just acting crazy or that you actually are the victim of a mental illness?

The following includes information from an article written by Geanina Hent.

To begin I will state that I will only be including testimony by Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and John Haighs with the intention of allocating three specific types of person to dissuade any generalizations that may be unintentionally implied, those being that all people are alike and can thus be characterized together.
A woman that I know, Becky Scissions, took a psychology class in college. Her professor's name was Dr. Erickson. He was also the prison psychologist for Charles Manson. Erickson told his psychology class that he would no longer be the prison's psychologist because of Charles Manson. He said that Manson had a way of getting into people's heads and manipulating them. Even as a trained clinical psychologist, Erickson didn't feel mentally stable enough to face Manson even on rare occasions. Can someone who is considered to be mentally unstable and ill have the ability to successfully manipulate a person of a high intellect? Or are they so impossibly clever that they can feign being insane to become ineligable for the death penalty?
During most murder trials, the defendant pleads temporary insanity. This means that they were overcome by passion/rage/fear/lust etc that they lost control of their own actions and were unable to realize what they were doing. In other words, they became incompetent. However, to be declared insane, you must be evaluated by a psychiatrist and have physiological tests performed to demonstrate your inability to determine right from wrong. You must stand trial if you are able to comprehend your situation and are able to actively participate in your defense.

What is the human mind capable of?

The frontal lobe of the brain controls planning, organizing, problem solving, selective attention, personality, behavior, and emotions.

To my knowledge, at this point in time, it is impossible to determine one's mental state without a doubt. There has always been that whole thing about reasonable doubt and you have to carefully consider everything when diagnosing a criminal. The diagnosis of temporarily insane or just plain insane will save that psychopath from the death penalty. You can be deemd unfit to stand trial due to incompetency, but when you are again deemed fit to stand trial, you will. Sometimes the defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity and they spend the rest of their lives in a mental institution. Is this truly escaping their fate or is it just as bad to be locked up because you're crazy? I leave it to you to decide.

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