I was stalking my New Scientist magazine (as usual) when I came across this article that almost made my jaw drop. I managed to find it online so if you want to read it you can. You can find it here.
What this article talks about is pretty mind boggling. A murderer (Abdelmalek Bayout) went to trial in 2007 because he admitted to stabbing and killing a man. The sentence he received was 9 years and 2 months… sounds fair right? (well, not to you death penalty lovers…but deal with it) Evidently his lawyer did not think so. When it went to the court of appeals, the case fell upon the ears of Judge Pier Valerio Reinotti. When it was heard again, the lawyer introduced new evidence stating that Bayout had a gene variant (mutation) that was linked towards aggression. Given this new evidence, the judge decided to reduce the killer’s sentence by a year. A YEAR! WHAT?!?!?
Number 1: while I understand people have predispositions to certain diseases and medical conditions, I hardly think that being predisposed to violence is ANY reason to have your sentence reduced. If the gene randomly started eating other genes (since it is violent, after all) and slowly took over your body… rendering you a useless zombie… THEN maybe I would care to entertain thoughts of sentence reduction. But after your sentence I would proceed to lock you up in a psych ward so you could not harm anybody. Number 2: HOW is the judge helping this man by saying, “Okay. You have a gene variant that leads you to be more prone to aggression and violence. THEREFORE let’s REDUCE your sentence so you can get out there faster and kill again! HOORAY!” At this point the judge, lawyer and convict should ALL be throwing a party, because he got way lucky.
If anything, this man should be kept behind bars longer. By admitting that you are prone to violence, you are basically pleading that you are not safe to be on the streets. That you are uncontrollable. That the beast killer within you could rear its ugly head at any moment. So sure, let’s reduce his sentence. Everyone in the immediate vicinity of this man can feel EXTREMELY safe when he’s released.
This man should receive his FULL sentence (if not more) as well as undergo psychiatric treatment and evaluation. Then, when he kills again (because once a murderer always a murderer… especially one with a predisposition to violence ::rolls eyes::) he has no excuse to be anywhere but sitting in his jail cell cursing the heavens for this “special” gene that reduced his previous sentence. That blessing would now be a curse.
…You bastards committing murder better be careful if I end up going to law school. I’ll make sure you’re locked up for as lonnnnnnng as possible… ;)