Comment: Holding psychopaths morally and criminally culpable

Michael J. Vitacco, Steven K. Erickson, David A. Lishner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Theoretical arguments that psychopathy eliminates individual responsibility for illegal behavior and can therefore serve as a basis for an insanity defense are largely premised on emotional characteristics of psychopathy that impede the individual's capacity to appreciate right from wrong. We offer arguments and countervailing evidence indicating psychopaths do have the capacity to appreciate right from wrong and therefore should not be absolved of criminal responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-425
Number of pages3
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • culpability
  • insanity defense
  • psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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