In criminological thought, emotional processes have failed to secure a central place, apart from some exceptions. But the fact is true that they are associated with the issue of crime or criminal justice in a natural way. So, you should take help from Criminal Defense Attorney Kansas City, MO.
Emotions In Criminal Decision Making
Many of us can recall when we have acted in anger, only to regret it later. But the very idea of emotions constantly corrupting rationality, along with leading to suboptimal choices, is excessively simplistic. You can visit website for a detailed understanding.
For example, fear can navigate away from activities, which might be the reason for our significant harm. Instead of considering reasons and emotions as a trusty opponent. In a dual process model of thinking, many scholars consider our “emotional brain,” and “rational brain” as collaborators.
The brain’s PFC, or prefrontal cortex, is an anatomical correlate of the whole rational processing system. It forecasts the costs along with the benefits of our every action. And in addition to this, for regulating behaviors, it also utilizes information about our past experiences.
Our limbic system is an emotional processing system anatomical correlate. When it comes to the effective evaluation of losses and rewards, it not only assists but also submits these pieces of information to the PFC to consider them.
On the whole, these emotional and rational processes, along with protective factors, and individual risks, usually guide decision-making under specific conditions of uncertainty. And this also includes criminal decision making.
A Brief Discussion
Take under consideration, what typically happens, when individuals are confronted with a situation that is totally charged with emotion, for example, a criminal opportunity.
In this case, the limbic system instinctively and quickly assigns emotional values to all the possible response options. Here, the values are also included that are influenced by the affective state of the individual.
In addition to this, the limbic system also finds long-term memories, which it can use for helping inform a behavioral response to the very current opportunity. But when it comes to heightened emotional arousal, it may welcome selective recalls, in which only some specific mood-congruent memories are recognized and also submitted to the PFC.
In addition to this mentioned emotional evaluation, those selective memories turn into incorporation with the PFC’s appraisal of the particular opportunity that is more rational. Let’s understand this complicated thing.
When we have the opportunity to make a choice, our brain immediately starts searching for possible response options. All these options are similar to open doorways in our minds, along with some potentially leading to crime.
Once all these doorways are identified, our brains assign everyone an evaluation on the basis of a hyperfast cost, which is benefit analysis. And here, everything we need to do is picking a particular doorway, which best serves our specific interests.
But, some specific types of emotional arousal can change this cognitive landscape, for example stemming from anger. We can consider anger as a strong wind, which sweeps through our minds and closes some of the doors.
And as a result of this, our options for responding become more limited. And during these issues, those doors, which stay open are generally those, which offer more immediate gratification along with a more constant punishment. In this category, much criminal law fits.
Yes, it is also true that most of us get angry from time to time but do not choose a criminal path. And this is because every one of us has different risks and protective factors.
Some of us also possess cognitive skills, which are necessary for identifying a larger number of doorways, and also the mitigation manager’s ability in order to constrain our response options.
Do Emotions Have Any Place In Criminal Defense Cases?
From indirect evidence, the effects, which are emotional on criminal decision-making come from. This is much that we understand. But there is still a lack of all these understandings when it comes to criminal defense cases. After all, everything defends the judge. But as a lawyer, you can represent the emotional angle of the criminal case that you are defending. But you also need to make sure that you have enough knowledge to counterattack.
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