Concept of the Month -- November 2003

The Criminal Knows Right From Wrong

Criminals are readily able to discern the difference between right and wrong. Many know the laws and even the finer points of the law better than do many responsible people. They can be harshly critical of another person's behavior or morality. But, as one said, "I can make anything wrong right and anything right wrong. Right is what I want to do at the time." In other words, whatever is being considered, the criminal regards it as "right" for him at the time. It part of the world view in which he is the hub of the wheel around which everything else revolves. If you give a criminal an exercise in which he must identify right and wrong courses of action, he is likely to score 100%. All such considerations are discarded when it comes to what he chooses to do at any given moment.

Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D.

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