Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The Madness Of Releasing The Yorkshire Ripper
The prospect that The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe might be considered for release because in the opinion of clinical psychologists 'he no longer represents a threat' is alarming.
In the language of social influence this is a Fundamental Attribution Error and society would be really gullible if they acted on the advice the clinicians.
We shouldn't be susceptible to what is the psychological equivalent of 'Captainitis' where because these people have the titles & trappings of their profession we go along with everything they say. As cognitive psychlogists they are evidently locked in their own 'psychic prisons'.
The Yorkshire Ripper will obviously from a cognitive and personality point of view appear as 'No Threat' because the situation he is in is a controlled medical environment!
The point is that there is no way of predicting at all if in a free natural environment he will not revert to his killing behaviors. We do have chilling past evidence though that his situation provided the platform for his behaviour. Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg is right to be staggered at the prospect.
So what do these cognitive scientists suggest? Gathering empirical evidence? Let this mass murderer out into a normal environment and see what happens? A normal environment for Peter Sutcliffe will probably mean that he returns to his normal behaviour.
Situations affect behaviour Don't believe me? Take your drum kit down to the library and start playing it, then tell me what happens.
Do you think this serial killer should be released on the recommendation of prison psychologists? Let me know.
Yorkshire Ripper Fit To Be Freed
Exploring Lunatic Asylums
Ripper To Be Freed From Broadmoor