Applied Science Paper

Submitted By zunig003
Words: 574
Pages: 3

Manuel Zuniga
Professor Henrie
PSYC. 101
17 March, 2015
Missouri’s Oldest Death Row Inmate Clayton L Cecil was sentenced to death row, in results of a 1996 shooting, and murder of a sheriff’s deputy. Cecil’s attorneys are requesting for his life to be spared, for the scheduled lethal injection on Tuesday. The reasoning behind the attorneys request is that the defendant has dementia, and brain damage from a sawmill accident in 1972. The controversy of this case is whether or not the defendant’s mental illness is enough to spare his life. Cecil was convicted of the murder of Christopher Casetter, a deputy sheriff that was on duty the night he was gunned down. It was the night before Thanksgiving of 1996, and Cassetter was investigating a suspicious vehicle at the time he was shot in the forehead inside his car. They found the victims vehicle near a tree while the engine was still running, and tires still rolling. The victim was pronounced dead the following morning inside the hospital the next day. Attorneys of the defendant claim that Cecil suffers from persisting effects of the sawmill incident, and is incomprehensible to understand the reasoning behind his upcoming execution, therefore he is ineligible for the execution, according to state and federal law. In 1972 a piece of wood had shot through Cecil’s skull, and surgeons removed one- fifth of Cecil’s frontal lobe, and about eight percent of his brain. The frontal lobe controls motor processing, planning, and reasoning. This accident is a very similar case of Phineas Gage of where he was working with the blast gang on the railroad, and a blast had sent a large iron rod that was driven completely through his head. It had destroyed majority of his left frontal lobe. Although Gage recovered physically, but mentally the accident was a major impact of the dramatic change in Gage’s personality. In both cases of Cecil, and Gage they both became more aggressive and violent, and abused alcohol. The aftermath of injuries of the frontal lobe research of today is found that the frontal lobe has a high order of functions that include language, reasoning, and social cognition. The frontal lobe contains most of the dopamine sensitive