Everybody commits misdemeanours, whether bycrossing a road on a red light or by streaming their favourite show online froma non-official source.
We know we should not commit these mini-crimes, but wedo not mean any harm, nor do we generally give them much importance. On theother hand, crimes such as murder, are entirely different and cannot beshrugged off or ignored, at least to a normal and balanced mind, but what aboutthe abnormal mind? Does murder, kidnap and robbery mean the same to them as aparking ticket to you or me?Psychopathy is an often-misunderstood concept.There is a tendency to use the words psychopath, or its close cousin,sociopath, as an insult or even as a light-hearted tease, without any realunderstanding of the disorder itself. In general terms, both can be used todescribe people suffering from a chronic mental disorder along with abnormal orviolent social behaviour. Psychopaths have distinct and widely diverse traits.These can be complex and subtle and not at all like the idealized image oftendepicted in the movies, such as the mega mastermind or the manipulative genius.Crucial to realize is that not every psychopathis violent or murderous, and not all murderers are psychopaths. Manypsychopaths live regular normal lives like you and me, they have families, goshopping, take exercise and it is likely that you have encountered manypsychopaths throughout your life without realizing.
Nevertheless, there existdirect correlations between psychopathy and crime. According to Dr Robert Hare,a researcher and expert on criminal psychopathy, one percent of the generalpopulation are psychopaths and twenty to twenty five percent of prisoners arein fact psychopaths.In this essay I intend to describe how acriminal psychopath views their misdemeanours and how they distinguish betweenright and wrong. I will explain the differences between a psychopath’s mind andthose of sound mind. Finally, what it is that tilts the balance between thosethat lead a regular life from those that fall into lives of crime.