Saturday, July 9, 2016
SHOULD CRIMINALS GET LIGHTER SENTENCES?
In the 2000's, in some cases lawyers of violent offenders began to argue that an individual's genes, rather than their natural decision-making processes, can cause criminal activity. Years earlier, a genetic defense involving the XYY syndrome, were unsuccessful. A series of studies on mice and the Brunner Syndrome(H.G. Brunner's 1993 discovery) is evidence that supports the genetic defense. This suggests that individuals should not be held accountable for aggressive behavior due to the fact, there is a possibility that aggressive offenders would have a genetic excuse for their crimes. Use of genetics as a court defense, in the United States, have been succesful in reducing sentencing. If the violent offender has certain predispositions this may reduce the blame worthiness of the individual. Mitigating factors in relation to genetics, such as impairment and a disadvantaged background were already taken in consideration when being sentenced. Canadian Judge Justice McLachlin replied "I can find no support in criminal theory for the conclusion that protection of the morally innocent requires a general consideration of individual excusing conditions. The principle comes into play only at the point where the person is shown to lack the capacity to appreciate the nature and quality or consequences of his or her acts."