What to do with guilty Jodi Arias and other psychopaths

Yesterday (May 8, 2013), Jodi Arias was found guilty of murdering her boyfriend. Actually, she more than murdered him, she virtually obliterated him. Stabbing him 29 times, shooting him in the face, and slitting his throat almost from ear to ear. She made damned fucking sure he was dead.

That alone should qualify her as a psychopath. However, she's also a pathological liar. She had several versions of her story, finally admitting that she killed him but in, as she termed it, "self defense." She trotted in battered woman syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder, and just about everything but the kitchen sink in an effort to beat the rap.

She may get the death penalty, but should she? The syllable "path" in "psychopath" and "pathological liar" indicates a sickness. She's not a mentally healthy person. 

pathology (n.) "science of diseases," 1610s, from French pathologie (16c.), from medical Latin pathologia "study of disease," from Greek pathos "suffering" (source)

As revolting as the murder was, can we separate her guilt from the sickness from which she suffers?

More generally, suppose all crimes could be traced back to some sort of pathology. What would happen to the entire concept of guilt? And suppose that once a pathology was identified, there was a "cure." Could we ethically hold people responsible for their actions before the cure, given their diminished capacity for making proper ethical choices?

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Unseen, I honestly don't know what should be done to provide satisfaction to those whose loved one has been maimed or killed. Any course of action that leads to payback no matter what we call it is revenge. It is a way to get even. If I advised the family of the affected to forgive the person, it would be easily said am being insensitive. I know, I would almost want to get even but this I think is because as a race we are so poor as to let go of debts we are owed. 

So, let's drill down to your problem with establishing some evenness (fairness) in the judicial outcome. What's the problem?


This is not revenge, it is evolutionary right course of action based on preservation of the fitness of the species. The primary objective of us a species is to procreate and keep the species alive and everything else is secondary. Anything that harms that course of action, needs to be removed from the species. You cannot have a functioning species, if members of their own species starts to terminate each other. Now this might be hard to imagine, since we do have an overpopulation, but that one time in our history, our ancestors were hunter gathers. During that time, there was a moment in human history where the population of the humans were about 2,000 and we were as that close as species on the verge of extinction. For the beneficial of the race, we need to remove these malicious variables that do not fit the equation. That is where justice comes in.

Attempted fallacy of "guilt by association"?

I am really not sure how you got ethnic cleansing from death penalty of a murderer. I love how you took parts of my statements out of context and put them together to fit your bias.

Ethnic cleansing is actually non beneficial to the species because you are not only causing a decrease in the population of the species but you are also reducing the genetic variation of stronger genes to be passed down for the survival of a healthy species.

So no I don't mean like ethnic cleansing

That is probably the weakest argument ever offered against ethnic cleansing.

because the discussion at hand has nothing to do with the ethnic cleansing except for that fact that he brought it out from far left field.  I do not want to go off topic into sub discussion about something that I never even implied.

Adam, don't you think if members of a species terminate each other, the species would still function because in this way they could check on population growth?

You call it justice because you have delegated the power of revenge to the state. I call it revenge by delegation. The end result is to be even, settle scores. An eye for an eye. That is what it is. 

It's not an excuse for murder, but it's a reason not to execute her.

We are essentially giving the state the right to take a human life. What if the country you live in is rotten to the core, like, say the Democratic Republic of Congo (a misnomer of the highest order)? Or somewhere in-between, like South Africa, where I live? I would be worried if they re-introduced the death-penalty here.

Regarding sociopaths and psychopaths, from the reading I have done on this, and my experience with sociopaths, I doubt whether they can ever be 'reformed.' So what do we do with these individuals?

I'm not opposed to the death penalty - in theory.  In practice, however, I think we have a long way to go before I could support it.  The trouble is that it is often used to coerce confessions; tell us how it went down and we'll make it sound like self defense or you'll have to face a judge and you'll likely get the death penalty.  Essentially that boils down to 'confess or die'.

I'm not sure this woman is a psychopath.  A psychopath wouldn't necessarily rage kill in the way she did.  Her repeated lies about the event might only indicate her own inability to rationalize her actions, and all the rest likely came from defense attorneys.

Everybody is dancing around the question of "What about the victims?" as though justice really doesn't involve them. If it doesn't, explain why.

Now, I don't believe a human life has an inherent value in any meaningful sense. if it does, then God must exist. Otherwise, lives might have value through legislation.

Let's consider this notion: life has an exchange value. If you save a life, you double the value of your own. If you take a life, your life's value becomes zero.


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