It's easy, sometimes automatic, to think of murderers as forces of evil.
But Loyola University psychologist James Garbarino, who has spent decades studying the minds of killers, offers a different, more patient, reading of their violent behavior.
In a recent talk at Cornell University, he boiled it down to a single sentence:
"Most of these killers are best understood as untreated, traumatized children who inhabit and control the minds, hearts, and bodies of adult men."
Garbarino was speaking in support of his new book "Listening to Killers:
He explained the traumas of childhood are simply too much for most young brains to handle. By the time people reach their teenage years, a life of violence, poor education, and drugs — both in and out of the home — make for a devastating psychology.
"A jury looks at them in the chair and thinks, 'What a stone-cold killer this is, ' when in fact what they're looking at is an untreated, traumatized child whose dissociation is how he survived, " he says. "And now it comes back to haunt him."
Garbarino represents a more sympathetic approach to criminal justice — one that's starting to gain footing in the US.
You might also like:
(law, ethics) PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE COURTS, 3RD EDITION (Book + 5 CE Credits) the section entitled The Criminal Process in the book by G. Melton, J. Petrila, N. Poythress, C. Slobogin, ISBN 1572309660 (continuing education, psychology, social work)
Single Detail Page Misc (Red Toad Road Company)