It wasn’t me, it was my mind

“The law distinguishes between madness and badness but, asks Steve Rose, why should that absolve criminals of responsibility for their actions?

Evil is in the air. It seems that a US psychiatrist, Michael Stone, has been studying serial murderers, such as Ian Brady and Fred West, and has decided that their actions defy psychiatric diagnosis: they are sane, but evil, as they killed for enjoyment.

Like Dr Stone, the Home Office has been interested in trying to determine what makes serial killers kill. David Blunkett was intrigued by the idea that one might be able to use brain imaging to identify “psychopaths” before they had committed a crime, with the aim of preventive incarceration. And thanks to the new anti-terrorist legislation, that power, which flies in the face of natural justice and indeed the Magna Carta, could soon be available to home secretaries. ” (Guardian.UK)