Psychiatry And In Cold Blood Essay British Literature Essay

On November 15, 1959, in the tiny town of Holcomb, Kansas, four users of the Mess family, Herbert Mess, Bonnie Muddle, Nancy Mess, and Kenyon Clutter, were savagely murdered by two violent marauders with initially no apparent purpose for the horrendous criminal offense. Within the book In Cold Blood, Truman Capote reconstructs the occasions leading up to the murder and the investigation that eventually resulted in the get, trial, and execution of the killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, on April 14, 1965. Through the trial, both of the defendants were considered to be mentally sick, but were skilled to stand trial and execution as they had been acknowledged with the capacity to discriminate between right and incorrect, and were therefore considered mentally sane. Even though both defendants were emotionally ill, the jury come to the logical verdict of execution since the mentally ill shouldn't be pardon from such a punishment, therefore justifying it essential for the defendants.

Since 1976, the United States has been wanting to assess the legal responsibility of murderers by dividing them into two categories, the emotionally sane and the insane, and prosecuting them credited process of law. In this article published in, The American Journal of Psychiatry (July, 1960), written in collaboration by Karl Menninger, Irwin Rosen, and Martin Mayman, it clarifies, "The 'sane' murderer is thought of as acting upon rational motives that can be realized, though condemned, and the 'insane' one as being powered by irrational senseless motives. " During the trial of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the prosecution used the M'Naghten test to determine the sanity of the defendants, as the test asks if the defendant was struggling to understand what he or she was doing during the crime due for some "defect of reason or disease of your brain" or, if he or she was alert to what she was doing, that he or she failed to recognize that what he or she was doing was incorrect. The unlawful psychiatrist, Dr. Jones, who evaluated the mental condition of the defendants, testified that Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were sane, even though he in my opinion concluded both to be experiencing mental diseases. In Ford versus Wainwright, 477 U. S. 399 (1986) and Panetti versus Quarterman, 127 S. Ct. 2842 (2007), the Supreme Judge held and reaffirmed that it was unconstitutional to execute someone who was incompetent during his execution under the eighth amendment. However, those who find themselves mentally ill, but not insane, haven't any such exemption. Therefore, both Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were lawfully entitled to the death charges as the jury reached the rational verdict.

On June 6, 1931, Richard Eugene Hickock, was born in Kansas City, Kansas to his parents, Walter Hickock and Eunice Hickock. Richard was raised in Kansas City, as he went to Olathe SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, participating as an initial team athlete and known to be a popular student with aspirations to wait college or university, but was slighted from his parent's lack of prosperity, which eventually led him to become auto technician. After Richard's unsuccessful matrimony, fathering three children, and his extramarital affairs, he soon started taking part in petty misdemeanor crimes, such as the creation and use of fraudulent checks which resulted in his conviction and phrase in Lansing correctional detention, where he devised the Chaos incident and met his partner in offense Perry Smith. On November 15, 1959, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith carried out their plans by robbing and murdering four participants of the Mess family at their home. During the prosecution of the defendants, the defense requested a psychiatric evaluation for Richard Hickock, who assessed by the criminal physiatrist Dr. Jones, referred to the mental condition of Hickock, as he published,

"Richard Hickock is above average in cleverness, grasps new ideas easily and has a wide account of information. He's alert to what is happening around him, and he shows no signal of mental misunderstanding or disorientation. His thinking is well-organized and logical and he appears to be in good connection with reality. Although I did so not find the usual signs of organic brain destruction - memory damage, concrete concept creation, intellectual deterioration - this can't be completely ruled out. He had a serious head harm with concussion and several time of unconsciousness in 1950 - this is verified by me by checking out hospital data. He says he has had blackout spells, durations of amnesia, and problems ever since this time, and a major part of his antisocial tendencies has occurred since that time. He has never had the medical tests which would confirm or disprove the lifestyle of residual brain damage. Definitive medical tests are suggested before a total analysis can be said to exist. . . . Hickock will show signs of emotional abnormality. That he knew what he was doing and still went forward with it is most likely the most clear-cut demonstration of this truth. He is somebody who is impulsive doing his thing, likely to do things without considered repercussions or future discomfort to himself or even to others. He will not seem to be capable of learning from experience, and he shows a unique pattern of intermittent times of effective activity accompanied by patently irresponsible activities. He cannot tolerate thoughts of annoyance as a far more normal person can, and he is poorly able to rid himself of these emotions except through antisocial activity. . . . His self-esteem is very low, and he secretly feels inferior compared to others and sexually insufficient. These feelings seem to be to be overcompensated for by dreams of being rich and powerful, a inclination to brag about his exploits, spending sprees when he has money, and dissatisfaction with only the normal slow progression he could expect from his job. . . . He is unpleasant in his human relationships to other folks, and has a pathological inability to create and hold enduring personal attachments. Although he professes standard moral standards he seems obviously uninfluenced by them in his activities. In conclusion, he shows fairly typical characteristics of what would psychiatrically be called a severe identity disorder. It is important that steps be studied to eliminate the probability of organic brain harm, since, if present, it might have substantially affected his behavior in the past several years and at the time of the criminal offense" (Capote, 294-295).

The evaluation unveiled several irregularities in Richard Hickock's state of mind, as the physician clarified was influenced by "severe identity disorder" which would be carefully related to severe major depression, psychopathic and sociopathic trend, and limited repression. Richard's experiencing severe depression, including; various pains and aches, negative and pessimistic thoughts, and insomnia, was a direct result of his constant sense of disappointment to his parents, the experience of prison, problems during his marriage, and constant monetary pressure. Richard exhibited psychopathic and sociopathic characteristics including; superficial charm, manipulations, antisocial behaviors such as missing guilt, living a parasitic lifestyle, irresponsibility, impulsiveness, and pathological resting, as detailed, "His poise, his explicitness, the reassured display of verifiable detail impressed Nye - though, of course, the guy was lying. " Overall, the consequences of mental disease on Richard Hickock through the Clutter murders definitely granted him the type and ability had a need to effortlessly execute the criminal offenses without dread and unfortunately leaving him without guilt. If the jury had not sentenced Richard Hickock to loss of life, he'd have continued to be a danger to contemporary society with the probability of release to damage others.

On Oct 27, 1928, Perry Edward Smith was born in Huntington, Nevada to his parents Florence Julia Buckskin and John Smith. During his early on life, Perry was in the beginning increased by his alcoholic mother, but was put in a Catholic orphanage where he was allegedly abused physically and emotionally by nuns. Soon, he was positioned in a Salvation Military orphanage, where again he was allegedly abused by the caretaker, and was then reunited with his father to live a life. As a child, Perry participated in a gang and became involved in petty offense, which resulted in detention in juvenile homes. Eventually, Perry enlisted as a USA Merchant Marine, and served in the Korean War in the army where he assaulted Korean civilians and troops. Perry Smith and Richard Hickock first fulfilled in the Kansas Talk about Jail, at Lansing, Kansas, later resuming their acquaintance after Hickock's release, and carrying out the program to pillage the Clutters, which resulted in the family's loss of life. During the prosecution of the defendants, the security also wanted a psychiatric evaluation for Perry Smith, who examined by the legal physiatrist Dr. Jones, detailed the mental condition of Smith, as he wrote,

"Perry Smith shows distinct signals of severe mental health issues. His childhood, related to me and confirmed by helpings of the prison records, was marked by brutality and insufficient concern for both parents. He seems to have grown up without route, without love, and without ever having soaked up any set sense of moral worth. . . . He is focused, hyper alert to things happening about him, and shows no signal of confusion. He is above average in intelligence, and has a good range of information considering his poor educational track record. . . . Two features in his personality make-up stick out as especially pathological. The first is his 'paranoid' orientation toward the entire world. He is suspicious and distrustful of others, will feel that others discriminate against him, and feels that others are unfair to him and don't understand him. He is overly sensitive to criticisms that others label of him, and cannot tolerate being made fun of. He's quick to sense minor or insult in things others say, and frequently may misinterpret well-meant marketing communications. He feels he has great need of companionship and understanding, but he is unwilling to confide in others, so when he does, expects to be misunderstood or even betrayed. In evaluating the motives and feelings of others, his capacity to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is inadequate. He not infrequently teams all people together to be hypocritical, hostile, and deserving of whatever the guy can do to them. Akin to this first trait is the second, an ever-present, improperly controlled rage - easily brought about by any sense to be tricked, slighted, or tagged poor by others. For the most part, his rages in the, recent have been directed at authority figures - father, sibling, Army sergeant, point out parole officer - and have led to violent assaultive action on several events. Both he and his acquaintances have been aware of these rages, which he says 'install up' in him, and of the poor control he has over them. When flipped toward himself his anger has precipitated ideas of suicide. The improper force of his anger and inabiility to control or route it reflect, the burkha weakness of personality framework. . . . Furthermore to these features, the topic shows mild early signs of a problem of his thought procedures. He has poor ability to arrange his thinking, he seems struggling to check out or summarize his thought, becoming involved and sometimes lost in detail, and some of his thinking shows a 'sensational' quality, a disregard of simple fact. He has already established few close mental relationships with other folks, and these have never been able to stand small crises. He has little sense for others outside a very small group of friends, and attaches little real value to individual life. This psychological detachment and blandness using areas is other proof his mental abnormality. More intensive evaluation would be essential to make a precise psychiatric examination, but his present personality framework is very practically that of a paranoid schizophrenic reaction (Capote, 296-298). "

The evaluation disclosed several irregularities in Perry Smith's state of mind, as the doctor explained was inspired by "paranoid schizophrenia" which would be meticulously related to bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress. Perry proven signs of bipolar disorder as he experienced disruptive spirits swings, manic expresses of major depression as he wanted grandeur, and the creation of delusional and unrealistic programs which might lead to trend if not completed. Perry appeared to suffer from post-traumatic stress which can induce vivid feelings, in Perry's circumstance regarding helpless, misuse and near loss of life trauma, may cause irrational physical response anticipated to an inability to cope. Although Perry Smith's contribution in the Muddle incident was straight affected by his mental health problems, he still could slaughter four innocent people, which made him a danger to contemporary society and eligible for execution.

Even though both defendants were both mentally sick, the jury come to the logical verdict of execution, as the mentally ill aren't exempt from such a punishment, and was therefore necessary for both defendants. If the jurors hadn't made a decision to vote for the loss of life penalty, and instead enforced a prison phrase, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the killers of four customers of the Mess family, Herbert Muddle, Bonnie Muddle, Nancy Clutter, and Kenyon Mess, would have stayed a danger to society with the probability of release to harm others.

Work Cited:

Capote, Truman. In Wintry Blood. New York: Random House, 1965. Print.

"Mental Health issues and the Death Penalty. " Fatality Penalty Information Middle. Death Charges Information

Center, 18 2012. Web. 27 Nov 2012. <http://www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/mental-illness-and-death-penalty

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