June 17, 2018 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1540772
Is it really their fault? After all, they experience an uncontrollable urge to kill. Should they be blamed for giving into their natural urges, even though they were simply unlucky enough to be born with sadistic tendencies?June 18, 2018 7:16 am at 7:16 am #1541330
They should be made criminal court judges, since they can emphasize with both the victims and the accused.June 18, 2018 7:29 am at 7:29 am #1541335
Pollster, that is not accurate. We don’t have an uncontrollable urge to do so; people do so because they consider it the right thing to do.June 18, 2018 11:51 am at 11:51 am #1541544
We have an uncontrollable urge to want to live out our years, and there’s Baruch HaShem still many more of ‘us’ then ‘them’, so ‘we’ do what we gotta do to realize ‘our’ urge.June 18, 2018 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #1541583
It depends on whether they’re sane or not. Not all serial killers are shotim. Having a yetzer hara for something which you could, if you chose, control is not the same as a paranoid schizophrenic who hears voices telling them to kill. In fact, most paranoid schizophrenics are harmless. I’ve known a few, and some of them are actually likable. Only a tiny minority are violent, and those are not usually not mentally coordinated enough to get to be a serial killer.
The real question is what to do with a serial killer, and that’s a no-brainer. You lock the person up permanently, and make sure they don’t get out unless, after many decades, they’re certified harmless. In terms of the Beis Din shel Ma’aleh, that’s not for us to make cheshbonos. There is only One Judge, who knows the real motivations and will act accordingly.June 18, 2018 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #1541589
They are animals who can’t control their urges.June 18, 2018 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1541606
🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Whether or not it is their fault we as a society need to protect ourselves which includes making sure that this person is no longer a threat to others. Due to the nature of their crimes there is no way for us to adequately punish them. They took more than one life away from others yet we can only take one life away from them. The closest we can do is to bring them close to death multiple times but that is forbidden by the constitution.June 18, 2018 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1541613
Where does paranoid schizophrenia come in here?June 18, 2018 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1541664
There’s a perception that all serial killers must be crazy, or at least “born that way,” and a few serial killers (Son of Sam, for example) actually were paranoid schizophrenics who heard voices telling them to kill. Most, however, are sane, or suffer from “personality disorders” – a very fuzzy diagnostic category which may or may not take away choice.
Some people are afraid of the mentally ill, and this is absolutely uncalled for. Only a very tiny percentage of mentally ill people are dangerous, and the odds of you’re meeting one are almost non-existent.
My point is that looking for causes and if there’s bechirah is not useful. The person has to be kept from harming others, and the fact that they’ve killed more than once makes them assumed to be dangerous – a shor mu’ad, so to speak.June 18, 2018 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1541707
One can make an argument that all criminals are insane. One standard for insanity is based on whether the person would commit the crime knowing he would be caught, as in, even though there was a policeman standing next to him. An important rule of criminal law is that while ignorance of law is not an excuse, ignorance of fact is an excuse.
Since there is reason to believe that most criminals are unaware that Ha-Shem rules the world, and is constantly observing their actions, and punished wrong-doers, most criminals should be considered insane since they lack knowledge of the reality that Ha-Shem is present and judges their action.
Frankly, hanging makes a lot more sense.June 18, 2018 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #1541796
Who says the victims are 100% innocent?June 19, 2018 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #1542350
RY23 – except for self-defense, there is no need for the victim to be “innocent.” The important thing is the action of the killer.
akuperma – Hanging in our current world makes no sense at all. The British gave up hanging after a man who was executed was later proved to be innocent. They had also previous changed the law so that a murder could not be proved without a body, because two people were hanged and the supposed “victim” later turned up alive and well, and surprised that they were supposed to be dead. The same sort of things have happened in this country with such depressing frequency the governor of one Middle Western state put a hold on all executions in his state after it was shown that innocent people had been hanged.
The bottom line is not insanity, whether they acknowledge HaShem or not, or any such theoretical concept. The question is, “What do we do with this person?” And the answer is, “Lock them up so they can’t hurt anybody else.” Definitely do not let them be out in society where they can kill again.June 19, 2018 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #1542543
The little I knowParticipant
You wrote: “Who says the victims are 100% innocent?”
Who cares? Since when are we prosecuting the corpse? If the murders were committed in self-defense, that’s one thing. But who are we to “cross-examine” the corpse?June 19, 2018 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #1543571
Maybe the victims were asking for it.June 24, 2018 10:50 am at 10:50 am #1545436
The Rogochover says that murder is so heinous that we even execute an insane person (ubiarta et hara mikirbecha). Rav Zilberstein disagrees. Rav Moshe, in a letter to then NY Gov. Hugh Carey (IM CM 2:68) says that someone who kills because of a cruel nature should be executed because of tikkun hamedina.
Of course, every measure must be taken to be sure that the right person is executed. However, giving him life imprisonment means that the public will have to pay for his upkeep his whole life, he can commit crimes in prison, escape, etc.
So far as a psychopath is concerned, Rambam says (Guide 1:7) that he is not really human but a sheid. Thus it would seem that he should be put down as is a mad dog.June 24, 2018 10:50 am at 10:50 am #1545402
Who are you to prosecute the murderer?June 24, 2018 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1545521
RY, unfortunately I am not a prosecutor so I cannot. However, as an astute observer as well as a zaken (zeh kanna chochma) I can offer an opinion. Who are you to defend him?June 24, 2018 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1545694
But how do you know it’s not just a misunderstanding, for example, the killer thinks the “victim” was interested and wanted to be killed?June 25, 2018 12:48 am at 12:48 am #1545763
It doesn’t matter. Even if the person asked explicitly being that he has no right to commit suicide there is no right to kill him if he asks. See Physician – Assisted Suicide: A Halachic Approach by Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz. Note that David ordered the ger Amaleki executed for killing Shaul at the latter’s request.
There is even a machloket regarding someone who gives permission to hit him. Some say that the hitter is over on a lav (Responsa Chavat Yair 163, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 5 Hilchot Nizkei HaGuf 4, Chazon Ish CM 19:5) being that a person is not the owner of his body, Hashem is. Others say that he is not over (Responsa Mahalbach Kuntras HaSemicha Kuntras Rishon d”h od, Minchat Chinuch Mitzva 48 Ot 3 as this is a matter of monetary damages and, in the case of parents, their personal honor).June 27, 2018 9:43 am at 9:43 am #1547188
What if the serial killer was led on by the “victim” wearing clothing suggestive of murder, e.g. skull shaped decorations on their clothing, or pictures of knives?June 27, 2018 10:14 am at 10:14 am #1547332
What if the serial killer was led on by the “victim” wearing clothing suggestive of murder, e.g. skull shaped decorations on their clothing, or pictures of knives?
What if the serial killer was led on by a person carrying a lulav.serial killer not knowing what the lulav holder plans on doing with his lulav thinks he is about to be stabbed in the heart or something.June 27, 2018 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #1547840
If it takes two to tango, surely the victim is just as much to blame?July 1, 2018 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #1550058
How can people walk around with skeleton themed clothing and complain when people with the urge take it as a yes to murder?July 2, 2018 7:21 am at 7:21 am #1550114
RY, maybe he is telling us to remember the day of death.July 2, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1550141
How’s the SK supposed to know that?
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