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?