Psychopaths should be given a reprieve?

#1
I'm not a huge fan of the death sentence but this story about the case of Peter Manuel, one of Scotland's most notorious serial killers did annoy me.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7888988.stm?lss

he is now convinced the authorities colluded to ensure Manuel was executed, ignoring a diagnosis of being a psychopath.

This information could have prevented Manuel's execution because it would have allowed the High Court to accept a plea of diminished responsibility.
I am now more convinced than ever that the authorities played down Manuel's psychopathic personality in the days ahead of his execution, because they had come to the conclusion that he should not receive a reprieve.
So this 'leading expert' states that Manuel WAS a psychopath, he confessed to murdering 8 people, but should have been given a reprieve...WHY?!
 
#2
The reason WHY he murdered these people is utterly irrelevant: they are still dead. :roll:

I've never understood why a mad dog is put down but a mad human is treated with kid gloves. :evil:
 
#3
Werewolf said:
The reason WHY he murdered these people is utterly irrelevant: they are still dead. :roll:

I've never understood why a mad dog is put down but a mad human is treated with kid gloves. :evil:
Essentially it's because the majority of mental disorders are temporary or treatable - ergo we'd rather treat the illness than condemn a temporarily ill person. However, in the case of psychopaths/sociopaths, they are not "ill" they have a permanent mental abnormality and are widely regarded as untreatable.. IMHO, they should be executed as not only are they untreatable but they medically CANNOT feel remorse or regret and therefore imprisonment is not a suitable deterrent/punishment...

Well that's what I think anyway..

(according to one author though, they do make cracking good soldiers! - so they can't be all bad!)
 
#4
ISTR most things I ever read about this bloke describing him as a psychopath.

Another thought: I'm not in favour of the death penalty, but is it me or are some people in the media/professions/other lobbyists trying to get anyone and everyone who was executed pardoned no matter how correct given the standards of the time...they are certainly trying some with Ruth Ellis
 
#5
I wonder how many criminals (in countries that do have the death penalty) plead insanity in order to avoid execution.

Although, am I right in thinking that in cases where someone has pleaded insanity and is handed over to an institution rather than prison/execution, IF the psychiatrists later feel the person has been cured has faked a mental disorder they can then be given the death sentence?
 
#6
It is my understanding that psychopaths know right from wrong. They may not experience emotions such as remorse or regret the way we do but they do know the difference between right and wrong.
The criteria at a trial is whether the defendant had the mental capacity to know that they were committing a crime and what they were doing was wrong. Knowing it is wrong but not caring does not fulfil that criteria,
Pschopaths are much mopre common than people realise and they appear in all walks of life. Most will never commit an actual crime but will morally outrage people along the way. You may be surprised at how many successful people display pschopathic tendancies.
 
#7
mac1 said:
ISTR most things I ever read about this bloke describing him as a psychopath.

Another thought: I'm not in favour of the death penalty, but is it me or are some people in the media/professions/other lobbyists trying to get anyone and everyone who was executed pardoned no matter how correct given the standards of the time...they are certainly trying some with Ruth Ellis
Yeah wasn't there some guy from Liverpool who's family claimed he hadn't done it and was wrongly executed. Cue modern DNA test that proved he'd done it. :oops:
 
#8
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
 
#9
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
 
#10
My mother was a forensic psychologist with HM prison service for some years. One of her jobs was assessing inmates for psychopathy so they can be prevented from joining the treatment programs* and subsequently reporting to review boards to ensure the individuals are not released until the last possible moment.

*psychopaths have no emotional awareness. They basically learn how to pretend to have emotion over the years to fit in. this makes them expert observers and manipulators of people. Many of the courses 'normal' inmates go on in prison, are there to help them understand themselves emotionally, to understand what makes them angry and how to deal with it. Giving psychopaths access to this training only serves to help them learn how to manipulate people more effectively and therefore makes them even more dangerous.

N.B. many psychopaths do not end up in prison, the learn to avoid the obvious bad behaviour, these are called socialised psychopaths. It was the opinion of my mother and her collegues that socialised psychopaths are very much over-represented in the halls of power. It is apparently not possible to fully diagnose a psychopath without going through a strick interview process, but according to these expert who deal with many psychopaths, a number of politicians display classic psychopathic traits!

read 'without conscience' by robert d hare if your interested in the subject.
 
#11
Werewolf said:
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
:)
 
#12
SkiCarver said:
My mother was a forensic psychologist with HM prison service for some years. One of her jobs was assessing inmates for psychopathy so they can be prevented from joining the treatment programs* and subsequently reporting to review boards to ensure the individuals are not released until the last possible moment.

*psychopaths have no emotional awareness. They basically learn how to pretend to have emotion over the years to fit in. this makes them expert observers and manipulators of people. Many of the courses 'normal' inmates go on in prison, are there to help them understand themselves emotionally, to understand what makes them angry and how to deal with it. Giving psychopaths access to this training only serves to help them learn how to manipulate people more effectively and therefore makes them even more dangerous.

N.B. many psychopaths do not end up in prison, the learn to avoid the obvious bad behaviour, these are called socialised psychopaths. It was the opinion of my mother and her collegues that socialised psychopaths are very much over-represented in the halls of power. It is apparently not possible to fully diagnose a psychopath without going through a strick interview process, but according to these expert who deal with many psychopaths, a number of politicians display classic psychopathic traits!

read 'without conscience' by robert d hare if your interested in the subject.
Thanks for that skicarver, I'll have a look for the book.

Kes
 
#13
trackbasher said:
Werewolf said:
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
:)
My mother was always against the death penalty. However after a few years dealing with psychopaths even she was doubting that position. She felt that there was generally no possibility of turning a psychopath into someone who is safe to release into society.
 
#14
SkiCarver said:
trackbasher said:
Werewolf said:
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
:)
My mother was always against the death penalty. However after a few years dealing with psychopaths even she was doubting that position. She felt that there was generally no possibility of turning a psychopath into someone who is safe to release into society.
And could you trust that they really had been rehabilitated or were they just pretending?
 
#15
kes1 said:
SkiCarver said:
trackbasher said:
Werewolf said:
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
:)
My mother was always against the death penalty. However after a few years dealing with psychopaths even she was doubting that position. She felt that there was generally no possibility of turning a psychopath into someone who is safe to release into society.
And could you trust that they really had been rehabilitated or were they just pretending?
Its a good point. However, psychopaths do not have an emotional reaction to lying. The interview process is there to get the psychopath talking, and they will say whatever they think the interviewer wants to hear, saying truthful stuff in exactly the same way as lies. After the interview, it is essential that all the items discussed in the interview are check by other sources so an assessment can be made of the truthfullness of the statements. Thier lack of concern about lying can therefore be used against them!
It is also worth noting that because of the lack of reaction to lying, a psychopath has no reaction for a lie detector machine to measure, which is why there results are worthless.
 
#16
Do lie detectors still get used? I thought I'd heard a while ago that they were no longer used due to stress levels confusing the machine.

Going back to the psychopath subject though. As you pointed out earlier, in the truest sense of the word psychopath, the 'sufferers' have a severe personality disorder. But relaxing the strictest use of that term, you could have someone with low level personality disorder who is capable of lying smoothly - telling the interviewer/psychiatrist what they want to hear. Therefore they have the ability to be convincing about being rehabilitated and showing remorse yet in reality just want to get back out there and continue were they left off.

Would there be the possibility of on release something triggering the disorder and they revert back to psychopathic tendancies?
 
#17
kes1 said:
Do lie detectors still get used? I thought I'd heard a while ago that they were no longer used due to stress levels confusing the machine.

Going back to the psychopath subject though. As you pointed out earlier, in the truest sense of the word psychopath, the 'sufferers' have a severe personality disorder. But relaxing the strictest use of that term, you could have someone with low level personality disorder who is capable of lying smoothly - telling the interviewer/psychiatrist what they want to hear. Therefore they have the ability to be convincing about being rehabilitated and showing remorse yet in reality just want to get back out there and continue were they left off.

Would there be the possibility of on release something triggering the disorder and they revert back to psychopathic tendancies?
In the UK we do not use lie detectors, in the US they use them, but the result is not admissable in court.

Regarding your last point. Being a psychopath is an intrinsic part of the psychopaths personality. they do not get better. However, there have been cases where psychologists have been taken in by psychopaths. This has even gone to the point where the psychologist took a gun into a UK prison for the inmate!
 
#18
As has already been alluded to many prominent people would score high on the 'Hare Chart' but they do not commit criminal acts. I once saw a typical office psychopath at 'work'. One of the directors had been in to the general office. As he was about to leave this guy went up to him and started talking to him as if they were good mates and kept looking at me. When he had finished his chat he walked up to me, stopped, smiled, shook his head and walked on. Being the paranoid fcuker I am I went up to the director's office and asked him why I was being discussed, had I done something wrong. It turned out that the psycho had just asked him the time and then a couple of innocuous questions about the company. I mentioned this to one of my psychiatric friends (I have quite a few, don't ask me why lol) and he said that it was classic 'office psychopath' behaviour, he also asked me if psycho guy had done this or that, I was amazed at how many of the things he had done.
 
#20
SkiCarver said:
kes1 said:
SkiCarver said:
trackbasher said:
Werewolf said:
trackbasher said:
You can be diagnosed as a psychopath in prison and as such are deemed 'untreatable' i.e. not responsive to offending behaviour programmes. As such a 'psycho' is referred to Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder units (4 in England) for 'treatment'.
They may remain there for some years before returning to mainstream prisons. Most are lifers and stay in prison. Despite what appears to be received opinion, there are many who will never get out, despite low tariff's set by Judge's.
This would have been the fate of Manuel nowadays, if he hadn't been topped.
The prison systems full of them...........
Cheaper to slot them, then. :wink:
:)
My mother was always against the death penalty. However after a few years dealing with psychopaths even she was doubting that position. She felt that there was generally no possibility of turning a psychopath into someone who is safe to release into society.
And could you trust that they really had been rehabilitated or were they just pretending?
Its a good point. However, psychopaths do not have an emotional reaction to lying. The interview process is there to get the psychopath talking, and they will say whatever they think the interviewer wants to hear, saying truthful stuff in exactly the same way as lies. After the interview, it is essential that all the items discussed in the interview are check by other sources so an assessment can be made of the truthfullness of the statements. Thier lack of concern about lying can therefore be used against them!
It is also worth noting that because of the lack of reaction to lying, a psychopath has no reaction for a lie detector machine to measure, which is why there results are worthless.
All the interviews are videotaped so that they can be studied later by Psychologists. Most Psychologists are very good at spotting them early on as are Prison staff. The test devised by Hare is called the Psychopathy check list - revised.
Lifers dread hearing "I think he needs a PCL-R"....
 

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