Criminal Psychopathology Is the Science Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

He suggested the British model of profiling instead, based on the "bottom up" type of processing, which analyzes existing evidence of specific similarities between offense and offender characteristics. The CSA uses the reverse, the "top down" processing, which relies on subjective conclusions derived from investigative experience of crimes and criminal interviews by the police and investigators (Hayden).

Motive is the reason behind the commission of a crime (Zandt 2006). It is not an element of a crime, which needs to be proven in court. But some utterly heinous or unnatural crime may require it for the jury to understand and appreciate why it is committed. An example is the killing of one's own spouse or child. Prosecutors must clearly establish the motive, which is the offender's reason for committing what is considered unreasonable, heinous or unnatural. The prosecution must prove and convince the jury, explain and show how anyone can commit that offense or crime. The questions asked when investigating are who, what, when, where, why and how in order to solve a crime. Who is the victim, the crime, when it is committed, where and how it is committed. Of these questions, the less obvious or evident "why" is the hardest to understand and establish. It is not just about needing money, frustration, anger, rage of stupidity. Some lawyers do not ascribe much importance to motive. Motive may not be a legal element in a crime. But it provides the purpose for the performance of an act or commission of an offense, which is forbidden by law. It thus becomes a legitimate element of a crime. It is the reason and the why the decision to commit a crime evolved from the human mind (Zandt).

Without understanding why an offender commits a certain crime, an investigation is armed with nothing (Zandt 2006). In many cases, it is only because the police or investigators do not have enough time or resources to determine it. But if they possess information on certain elements of the crime and certain evidence found at the crime scene, these may suggest the type of person who has committed the crime. The information can provide clue to his motive, which will lead the investigation to his identity. This may, however, take much time and effort. The search for motive poses a huge challenge to investigators if there is no specific race, sex or age group on target. The prosecution may not need to establish the motive, but it is better to know it (Zandt).

Murderers, for instance, destroy lives from a variety of reasons (Zandt 2006). It may be out of anger, frustration, fun, accident, a compulsion or an intention. They may claim that they had to do it or that it once happened to them. They may claim innocence that it is not their fault but the victim's, their parents, their poor upbringing, the priest or someone far off made them do it. The motive may be established but the true reason may never be known. The murderer or offender is a dysfunctional personality himself who does not understand himself, so how can others? If he cannot understand his own inhumanity, much less than the rest of us (Zandt).

Although a Center has been established and dedicated to the study of crime, little academic research has been conducted in the social, psychological and legal fields and journals to back it up (Turvey 2000). It was suggested that mental health professionals should be given essential participation in criminal psychopathological profiling and provide professional directions to law enforcement and in the treatment or correction of offenders (Turvey).


1. Court TV. (2006). The Art of Forensic Psychology. Criminal Profiling: Courtroom Television Network LLC.

2. Hayden, T. (2000). Offender Profiling. Murder in the UK:, 2006.

3. Muller, D.A. (2000). Criminal Profiling. Homicide Studies, Vol 4 (3), Sage Publications, Inc. pp 234-264

4. Strano, M. (2004). A Neural Network Applied to Criminal Psychological Profiling: an Italian Perspective. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology: Sage Publications.

5. Turvey, B.E. (2002). Deductive Criminal Profiling. Knowledge Solutions, LLC.

6. Zandt, C.V. (2006). Finding Motive of a Crime. Microsoft:

Online Sources Used in Document:

Cite This Term Paper:

"Criminal Psychopathology Is The Science" (2006, November 30) Retrieved September 24, 2017, from

"Criminal Psychopathology Is The Science" 30 November 2006. Web.24 September. 2017. <>

"Criminal Psychopathology Is The Science", 30 November 2006, Accessed.24 September. 2017,