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Criminal Insanity Some traits or dispositions are inherited but the continuity of behavior including antisocial activity is maintained by social contexts and other aspects of the environment - Avshalom Caspi Criminal insanity is a topic which sparks much heated debate What causes insanity Is insanity a physical or psychological problem Is insanity actually a disease or just a figment of a persons imagination Groliers Encyclopedia describes insanity as a mental defect or disorder sufficient to prevent a person from knowing the difference between right and wrong conduct or from understanding the nature of his or her actions This definition is one which would seem to be a good representation of what insanity truly is Insanity applies to criminals in an interesting way If a criminal does not know the difference between right and wrong then can they be held accountable for the crimes they commit If they dont understand that what they are doing is a crime then should they be punished as if they were criminals or treated as patients with a disease This problem is one that has plagued courts lawyers juries and defendants for a long time and does not appear to be any closer to a solution A common belief as to why people first become criminally insane is because of the way they were treated as children Many examples to support this theory can be found throughout history One example is the infamous Charles Manson Charles Mansons home life was anything but normal he was in fact the son of a teenage bisexual alcoholic prostitute and was once traded for a pitcher of beer Charles Another example is Henry Lee Lucas a famous serial killer who as a child lost an eye after a severe beating from his mother Serial Finally Pedro Alonso Lopez believed to be the key player in over 300 murders was kicked out of his house when only 8 years old Serial These
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