Should serial killers be held responsible? (T)

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  • #1540772

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    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?

    #1541330

    DovidBT
    Participant

    They should be made criminal court judges, since they can emphasize with both the victims and the accused.

    #1541335

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    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.

    #1541544

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    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.

    #1541583

    Midwest2
    Participant

    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.

    #1541589

    laskern
    Participant

    They are animals who can’t control their urges.

    #1541606

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    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.

    #1541613

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Where does paranoid schizophrenia come in here?

    #1541664

    Midwest2
    Participant

    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.

    #1541707

    akuperma
    Participant

    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.

    #1541796

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Who says the victims are 100% innocent?

    #1542350

    Midwest2
    Participant

    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.

    #1542543

    The little I know
    Participant

    RebYidd23:

    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?

    #1543571

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Maybe the victims were asking for it.

    #1545436

    Avi K
    Participant

    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.

    #1545402

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Who are you to prosecute the murderer?

    #1545521

    Avi K
    Participant

    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?

    #1545694

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    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?

    #1545763

    Avi K
    Participant

    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).

    #1547188

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    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?

    #1547332

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    RebYidd23Participant
    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.

    #1547840

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    If it takes two to tango, surely the victim is just as much to blame?

    #1550058

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    How can people walk around with skeleton themed clothing and complain when people with the urge take it as a yes to murder?

    #1550114

    Avi K
    Participant

    RY, maybe he is telling us to remember the day of death.

    #1550141

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    How’s the SK supposed to know that?

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