Justice for Psychopaths: Punishment or Therapy

Abstract

Psychopathy is one of the most dangerous mental disease and provides a theoretical and practical challenge to the Criminal law and the Criminal Justice System. Mental diseases need to be explicable in reference to their severity and gravity specially having the instinct towards crime. Psychiatry and law approach the problem of human behaviour from different philosophical perspectives. The Criminal law is, however, ‘a practical, rational, normative science which, draws upon theoretical science but is concerned with the issue of passing judgment on human conduct’. Although much research has been done to get an in-depth knowledge about psychopaths in U.K. and U.S.A., there is also an urgent need to create mass awareness of this disease and to make separate sentencing policy for psychopaths. Due to the lack of information and awareness about psychopaths they are generally considered as monsters not patients. This mind set needs to be changed and efforts should be made to treat them rationally. Psychopaths are patients and not criminals; moreover, rather than punitive a therapeutic approach should be followed for the benefit of society, human rights and psychopaths. Efforts have been made in countries like U.K. and U.S.A. in this direction. Special laws have been promulgated keeping in view the scientific fact that mentally ill offenders are not criminals but victims in their own ways as they are generally unaware of the disease and the consequences of the crime committed by them.



Author Information
Priya Sepaha, Renaissance Law College, India

Paper Information
Conference: ECPEL2016
Stream: Law 6. Law of Human Rights and Social Justice

This paper is part of the ECPEL2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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