We, at A Journalist Reveals, have always wondered – how do criminal brains function? We found Anuja Kapur, Criminal Psychologist and asked her to shed some light on the issue. She had the following to say, “Masses who usually end up culpable for criminal offenses more frequently show behavioral differences as compared with the rest of the population. The hypothesis of neuro-chemical abnormality is floated every time a major crime occurs. In reality, the onus of shaping of criminal minds lies on various mitigating factors rather than chemicals – Personality disorders; Broken homes, divorce, loneliness and boredom; Childhood abuse/physical/mental/emotional; Peer pressure of performance; Environmental changes; Geographical changes; Economic changes and/or Society norms forcing behavioral changes.”
Excerpts from the interview:
How do they commit crime thinking that they are not performing an illegal and immoral act?
Crime is not always illegal or immoral until it is not deviant in nature to the societal norms. If an act, which is deviant in nature, is not mentioned in the book of law is not a crime. Any criminal is not born a criminal. Usually, one might have experienced many mitigating factors to move toward the world of crime and indulge themselves in this world of misery. When we talk about legality and morality in our acts, we are referring to the upbringing of an individual. During the early years of a child’s life, the parents and guardians need to keep a tab on the physical, mental and emotional growth of their kids, in order to curb wrong choices and doings. Any inattentiveness by the parents/guardian can lead to a damage that demolishes the whole fundamental structure, development, and personality of the children. The introduction of right and wrong choices helps to build the moral character of an individual.
Why do they always blame the victim in (particularly cases of a rape)?
The blaming and shaming of the victims has been the strategical approach of various political parties and societal pressure. Our criminal justice system recognizes offenders and not victims. Victims are mere objects for political parties to take advantage of for themselves. “She must have provoked him,” often heard in rape cases is a statement that a person with a right mind would pay no heed to. This statement assumes that the victim is equally responsible for the abuse as the offender when in reality rape is a conscious choice made by the rapist. Rape is conducted with the exercise of power over, the objectification of women’s bodies and the glamorization of sexual violence; thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
Most of the times these criminals are responsible for a hostile witness. These criminals can convince the witnesses easily. How do they do it?
As a witness in court, you play a very important part of the legal process. A witness is termed hostile when he or she gives a certain statement in their knowledge before the police about a crime committed but repudiates it when called as a witness in the court of law during a trial. This change in the witness is often experienced due to external reasons and pressure. Examples include:
- Request a witness to testify in a certain way, to lie, to not testify, to not report a crime or to not cooperate with police.
- offering a witness a payoff (money, material goods, or some other benefit).
- threatening a witness with physical violence or property damage. The witness is afraid of facing the wrath of convicts, who may be well connected.
- threatening the witness’s family members or loved ones.
- corruption in the legal system.
- preventing a witness from attending a legal proceeding, such as a court hearing or deposition.
- Long procedures and inordinate delay in disposal of cases.
- A witness is not treated with respect in the court.
- Lack of knowledge of the Witness Protection Program where the victim and the witness who has witnessed or has knowledge of the crime are protected against the wrongdoers and their reach.
To be continued…