As our understanding of neuroscience expands, so to does our understanding of criminal behavior and the need for changes in how society punishes crimes. Increasingly, scientists are uncovering a strong connection between human actions and behavior and the neural/chemical processes that take place in the brain. This issue raises important questions regarding culpability and the sentencing of criminals. To put it another way, if an individual commits a crime, but suffers from a severe mental illness, did he or she intend to commit the crime? If not, how should that individual be held accountable?
More often than not, when a person commits a crime, the law tends to focus on the crime itself and the immediate events surrounding it. Factors such as an individual’s personal history and potential behavioral disorders are generally viewed as either irrelevant to the case or not as important as the events immediately prior to and during the crime itself.
However, progress in medical technology has allowed scientists to uncover many links between our brains, the information and experiences we receive growing up, and our later behavior as adults. While the nature of some individuals crimes may be abhorrent, can it be concluded that they intended to commit the crime if their neuro-psychological condition precluded them from making the correct decision? It is an important consideration when someone is charged with a crime.
Mental Illness Often Disregarded in Criminal Charges
If you or a family member has been accused of committing a crime and has mental illness, it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to provide an effective and vigorous defense to the charges. Contact the Waukesha criminal defense lawyers of Andrew C. Ladd for help today at 262-542-3900.