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.

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2 thoughts on “Mental Health As A Defense-Revisited

  1. Police have come under fire, at least in my corner of the World, for not taking a person’s mental health issues into account. This has left victims adrift. When you report stalking, harassment, etc., you are likely to be fobbed off, have your reports called into question, or be told to “Back Off” on any legal attempts that you make to stop the abuse.
    I’m sick of stalking being seen as a victimless crime because there are no visible marks or scars. Is the mental health of the victim somehow less important than that of the perpetrator?
    It’s a moot point, at least to me what the degree, or type of mental health issue the stalker has. For every diagnosis there could be a counter argument in a court situation. How much money can victims be expected to spend to get a conviction that may result in the perp. being found ‘not mentally responsible’, with no treatment assigned, likely no incarceration in a jail or mental health facility, & certainly no surveillance by police on his/her activities after the fact.
    These people look at Peace Bonds & Restraining Orders as a challenge. They are past masters of spying & harassment, after years of learning from their mistakes ..that they were likely only cautioned about. They work the legal system, & con the police & the courts, if it ever gets that far. They con their psychiatrists, their legal councils, their family, their friends, &, their employers, They are masters of manipulation. They are the eternal ‘victims’. This is the nature of the Psychopath/ Sociopath.
    No wonder people don’t report incidents or try for a conviction! (& that just makes the stalker bolder & more practised.)

    • It is unfortunate, but not enough of the law enforcement communities around the world are trained enough in the phenomenon of stalking. This also would include judges and prosecutors. A great deal more training is required; hopefully over the next few years this will transpire, but only if law enforcement reaches out to those that can assist them.

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