Is Criminal Mind Genetic?

Have you heard about “a born killer” or “a born criminal?” According to Mitchell Chamberlain, in his article, “Are Genetics Responsible for Criminal Behavior? Many Prisoners Share a Gene linked to Personality Disorder,” researchers discovered 568 Finnish prisoners positive for Antisocial Personality Disorder or ASPD. Scientists have traced ASPD to specific genes which are proven to be hereditary.

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The Guinness World Records labeled the sisters Delfina de Jesus Gonzales and Maria de Jesus Gonzales as “most prolific murder partnership.” These Mexican sisters have killed more than 91 people in their prostitution business. The Briley Brothers, Linwood Earl, James Dyral, and Anthony Ray, were African-Americans who became famous in Richmond, Virginia for killing more than 11 people in 1979. Micajah and William Harper or the Harpe brothers were famous killers in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Illinois. The Tarverdiyeva Family is famous in Stavropol, Russia for having 30 murders recorded. This family of serial killers was caught on September 8, 2013. There are many killers and criminals in the history that have shown similar behavior among their family members which justifies the correlation of genes to criminal acts. Researchers connect the criminals’ genes to a mental health disorder that results to killing.

Since genetic traits have been found to be responsible in criminal acts, childhood and environment are additional factors that scientists consider in becoming a criminal. Some scholars argue that despite the genetic, childhood and environmental factors that affect a criminal mind, a human being has a free will to choose what is right. It is true that humans have the capacity to choose and determine what is right according to the law and to the established norm but the problem lies in the capacity of humans to handle issues that affect their sanity. Even punishment is not effective for someone who has a psychological illness. An individual who has a mental disorder like the ASPD might not really understand that what he does will compromise his life. Mental disorders are due to genes or genetic variations. A person will not unreasonably kill his fellow if he is in his right state of mind.
Scientifically, the MAOA genes or the enzyme monoamine oxidase A and the cadherin 13 or CDH13 or the warrior genes are the ones link to violent offenders. Most violent criminals have this kind of genes in their profile and were found to be having a distinct behavior and mental incapacity.

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Most countries mitigate the liability for criminals who have mental illnesses, it might be a good point why this should not be discussed as proof why people tend to harm other people. If we will consider the genes and mental issues associated in committing criminal acts then all criminals will have an excuse not to be punished by the law. What we can do to help is to create a good environment that will help nourish the behavior of those who are affected by the warrior genes. We might not be able to understand them but we can try to prevent them from growing into a larger number by proper awareness and by coming up with a good solution to address this kind of behavior from childhood.