Assignment: Genetic And Biological Aspects Of Criminal Behavior

I believe that genetic and biological factors play a monumental role in how people can become criminals, and our text and resources support this information. The relationship between parent and infant and its solidarity play an important role in the temperament of children, and the prevention of them having behavioral problems later in life (Bartol & Bartol, 2017). Temperament centers around the beginning stages of a child’s life and their response to certain stimuli.

So, I believe in genetic and biological factors having an effect, but I do not believe criminal offenders should receive a lesser sentence due to those factors. Those who commit crimes make choices. and those choices produce consequences. Unless someone was practically forced by family via threats or gunpoint, then I feel they should continue to receive the same treatment as all criminals. I always agree that therapy is another option when it comes to correcting behavior, but to excuse behavior because of biological or genetic reasons would be debatable and unjust.

References:

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2017). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

STUDENT REPLIES

STUDENT REPLY #2 Kaitlyn LePage

In a recent study, geneticists have found that the risk of aggressive behavior, reactive and proactive is influenced by genetics of almost forty to fifty percent (Tatarelli, 2014). Deciding whether or not genetics play a role in criminal responsibility, is a big decision that is left up to the judge overseeing the case. In order for genetics to actually play a role in lessening or exempting a criminal offender’s responsibility the offender’s lawyer would have to prove that the individual had limited freedom of will, during the crime was committed (Tatarelli, 2014).

I don’t believe all genetic/biological factors should qualify offenders for lighter sentences, I believe there should be better programs in place for those who are mentally ill. For example, if an offender commits a crime that has a history of mental illness, I don’t believe they should be put into jail or prison, these offenders should be taken to a psychiatric facility where they can receive the help they need. I don’t feel as though prisons or jails are properly equipped to handle those who have severe untreated mental illness.

Reference

Tatarelli, R., Del Casale, A., Tatarelli, C., Serata, D., Rapinesi, C., Sani, G., Giradrdi, P. (2014). Behavioral Genetics and Criminal Responsibility at the courtoom. Forensic Science International, 237, 40-45

STUDENT REPLIES

STUDENT REPLY #3 Lisa Rivard

Great post. I am curious how you would begin to decide what warrants an exception and what does not. For example, I am bipolar, and my moods go in waves. At times I am very impulsive and do rather stupid things, but I also recognize those mood swings and try to react accordingly. It was a learning curve to get to know my limits but whether I am on medication or not I still feel like I should be responsible for my actions.

I occasionally get into a bit of trouble, and I blame my mania, but I don’t excuse my behavior because of it. I take my punishment and learn from it. Like, no driving, I used to race dirt track and like to drive fast. That was great in the summer racing season when I was amped up without fear but not so good for everyday roads. I know I cannot drive like a responsible adult when I phase into a certain mood, so I just don’t do it anymore. If I were to hit a toddler because I was going 80 through my local village I don’ t think I would deserve any leniency because my brain makes me impulsive. But, if I don’t, who does, and who decides?

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