Mental Health As A Defense-Revisited

In one of our discussions we expressed that oftentimes mental health is found not to be a very viable defense concerning the crime of stalking because the stalker oftentimes shows planning in his or her pursuit of the victim. However, some defense attorneys will still attempt to travel this road to get their client off by showing that even though their client did have a mental health issue; they were also insane (a much higher bar)  at the time of the stalking.

Just a point of information, for those of you interested in those diagnosed as a psychopath, recent studies like the Hare study indicate that a true psychopath does not have a mental health issue, but are in fact born with this particular condition. Something that many of us who have dealt with these people in the field have been espousing for years. So when we would oftentimes say, “Well, no one is actually born bad; Hare’s and others in this field are telling us, yes in fact some people who commit violent crimes are in fact born bad.” The studies also indicate that their are levels of psychopaths. In other words, many successful people; especially in the business arena are in fact psychopaths but don’t rise to the plateau if you will of a serial killer.

Here are the twenty items Hare Psychopathy Checklist came up with. Take a look, and see if you know anyone like this:

  1. Glib and Superficial Charm
  2. Grandiose Self-Worth
  3. Seek Stimulation or Prone to Boredom
  4. Pathological Lying
  5. Conning (or cunning) and Manipulativeness
  6. Lack of Remorse or Guilt
  7. Shallow Affect
  8. Callousness and Lack of Empathy
  9. Parasitic Lifestyle
  10. Poor Behavioral Controls
  11. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior
  12. Early Behavior Problems
  13. Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals
  14. Impulsivity
  15. Irresponsibility
  16. Failure to Accept Responsibility For Own Actions
  17. Many Short-Term Marital Relationships
  18. Juvenile Delinquency
  19. Revocation of Condition-Release
  20. Criminal Versatility

Now, my first stalker was a textbook psychopath. He fit into all of these categories, and stalked my victim off and on for over twenty years.