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Reid G. Fontaine

Law and Society

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Psychopathy And Culpability: How Responsible Is The Psychopath For Criminal Wrongdoing?, Reid G. Fontaine Jd, Phd Jan 2011

Psychopathy And Culpability: How Responsible Is The Psychopath For Criminal Wrongdoing?, Reid G. Fontaine Jd, Phd

Reid G. Fontaine

Recent research into the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of psychopathy has raised the question of whether, or to what degree, psychopaths should be considered morally and criminally responsible for their actions. In this article we review the current empirical literature on psychopathy, focusing particularly on deficits in moral reasoning, and consider several potential conclusions that could be drawn based on this evidence. Our analysis of the empirical evidence on psychopathy suggests that while psychopaths do not meet the criteria for full criminal responsibility, they nonetheless retain some criminal responsibility. We conclude, by introducing the notion of rights as correlative, that ...


In Self-Defense Regarding Self-Defense: A Rejoinder To Professor Corrado, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2010

In Self-Defense Regarding Self-Defense: A Rejoinder To Professor Corrado, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

This is a rejoinder to Professor Corrado in the upcoming special section of the American Criminal Law Review on the nature, structure, and function of self-defense and defense of others law.


On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held Jan 2009

On The Boundaries Of Culture As An Affirmative Defense, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Eliot M. Held

Reid G. Fontaine

A “cultural defense” to criminal culpability cannot achieve true pluralism without collapsing into a totally subjective, personal standard. Applying an objective cultural standard does not rescue a defendant from the external imposition of values—the purported aim of the cultural defense—because a cultural standard is, at its core, an external standard imposed onto an individual. The pluralist argument for a cultural defense also fails on its own terms—after all, justice systems are themselves cultural institutions. Furthermore, a defendant’s background is already accounted for at sentencing. The closest thing to a cultural defense that a court could adopt ...