, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 205–212

Psychopathy and Criminal Responsibility


DOI: 10.1007/s12152-008-9021-9

Cite this article as:
Morse, S.J. Neuroethics (2008) 1: 205. doi:10.1007/s12152-008-9021-9


This article considers whether psychopaths should be held criminally responsible. After describing the positive law of criminal responsibility in general and as it applies to psychopaths, it suggests that psychopaths lack moral rationality and that severe psychopaths should be excused from crimes that violate the moral rights of others. Alternative forms of social control for dangerous psychopaths, such as involuntary civil commitment, are considered, and the potential legal implications of future scientific understanding of psychopathy are addressed.


Psychopathy Legal responsibility Criminal responsibility Antisocial personality disorder Rationality Coercion 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania Law SchoolPhiladelphiaUSA