Essay about Criminology and Biological Criminal Behavior

Submitted By fridaysfailure
Words: 1475
Pages: 6

Biological Criminal Behavior
University Of Phoenix
Lindsey Welch

Andrea Kennedy Yates resided in Houston, Texas with her five children and husband. On June 20, 2001 she confessed to drowning her five children in the bath tub. Andrea Yates had been suffering from postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis for quite some time. The district attorney asked for the death penalty at her trial in 2002. (Wikipedia)

Andrea's case was placed under the Irresistible Impulse Test. The Irresistible Impulse test happens when the defendant argues that they should not be held criminally liable for their actions. Andrea Yates was convicted of capital murder. Andrea was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in forty years. In July or 2006, there was a retrial. Andrea was committed by the court to the North Texas State Hospital. North Texas State Hospital is a high-security mental health facility. State prosecutors from Texas, Andrea's prosecutors, and her defense lawyers agreed that she was severely mentally ill at the time of the drowning incident. (Wikipedia)

Andrea stated that her children were not righteous, and that the way she was raising them could not save them. Andrea had thought about killing her children for two years. Andrea told her jail psychiatrist that Satan influenced her children and made them more noncompliant. (Wikipedia)

A condition that characterizes many convicted criminals is called antisocial personality disorder. Usually people with antisocial personality disorder can't distinguish between right and wrong. They may often disobey the law and also the rights of others. Psychopaths are incapable of feeling any responsibility, regret, or empathy for their actions. They are usually sly, controlling, and incapable of normal emotions like love. Their behavior is also self-centered and conceited. (Raine, 2013)

Most studies signify that there are no available cures for psychopathic behavior. Since psychopaths have no real emotions, they develop their own traits and qualities throughout their life impersonating people around them. Since psychopaths lack the ability to control inappropriate behavior like anger or hostility, they have an even more difficult time keeping jobs, and friends. They always believe that they can outsmart those who pursue them, and will never get caught. (Rasminsky, 2010)

There has always been controversy on whether or not psychopaths should be disciplined less ruthlessness for their crimes since their attitude, and inappropriate manners can be held responsible for brain differences or genes, or extending their time behind bars because they are more difficult and perilous than other criminals. (CNN, 2013)

A recent study was explored by these biological theories by having judges implement a prison period on a theoretical convict. The judges were told beforehand that the theoretical convict was a psychopath. The judges considered it an annoying issue in sentencing. When the judges heard from an expert, and their testimony the judges felt that the information was justified. If a biological cause could explain the guilty man's behavior, the judges usually gave the criminal a shorter sentence, but when they heard additional expert testimony that biological factors could explain the convict's inappropriate behavior, they saw that information as permissible and gave the criminal a shorter sentence. The impact of the expert testimony was based on whether the biological arguments came from the defense, or prosecutor's side. The judge's decision was influenced more if the biological testimony came from the defender's side. (CultureLab, 2013)

Overall the judges were still imposed to charging lengthy sentences, and still saw the convict morally and legally responsible for their behavior. Most of the time their sentencing is only reduced by a year if the judge feels like there are genetic or biological reasoning behind the convict's actions.