theories of personality essay

Should a person be held legally responsible for criminal acts committed by their unconscious (or unconscious aspects of their personality)?The topic I am discussing today regards the legal system of the country and whether a person, who is mentally unstable, suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or in other words, unaware of what he is doing, be liable for crimes committed during this state of unconsciousness.I am of the view that such people should be held responsible and that the current laws, which pronounce lax sentences for people who argue insanity or take support of the Diminished Responsibility Act, are lenient and widely abused (Lonnie, 1997). I say this first of all because a person who commits violent crimes example by putting another person’s life in jeopardy is already a menace to society.

If society is to function peacefully and in order, surely, such people should be kept away from the general populace. Even if their unconscious mind is carrying out the acts (like people who argue their split personality and not they committed an offense), this means they are generally violent people.Furthermore, defenses like the Split Personality Disorder are widely debatable with some psychologists rejecting such disorders completely (Costello , 2002). Lie detector tests and psycho analysis are also not hundred percent fool-proof methods with a lot of margin for error.

The other side of this argument is that how can a person who is not aware of his actions (example is sleepwalking) be held liable for a crime committed? Also, humanity ascribes more compassionate treatment of mentally unstable or ill people who do not have the advantages needed to lead a normal life (Singer; LaFond, 2002). They should be taken care of in mental institutions and not condemned to the death penalty or locked up for life.But the fact remains that criminals often abuse this lenient option ascribed in law and before dismissing abusers as carrying out unconscious acts, a through investigation should be taken. ReferencesBooksLonnie H.

A. (1997). Violent Criminal Acts and Actors. University of Illinois Press.

Costello, S. J. (2002). The Pale Criminal.

Karnac BooksSinger; LaFond. (2007). Criminal Law Examples & Explanations. Aspen Publishers.

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