Jul 11, 2011

I'm a good person

Q.: "[T]here are millions of crimes and millions of criminals. But is there some unifying element among the type of people who become murderers? What is the fundamental difference between the kind of person who kills someone and the kind of person who never could?"

Bill James, author of Popular Murder, A.: "That's an interesting question. In a lot of true crime stories, you will see that someone testifies for the defendant and talks about what a good person they are, and that this person could never commit the crime in question. I would like to think of myself as someone who would never commit a crime. I'm sure a lot of people would. But I don't think that's a good argument for anything. If I was on a jury, the claim that the accused was "too good a person" to commit the crime would not be an argument I would buy. Rabbis commit crimes. Ministers. Priests commit terrible crimes. Now, are they committing these crimes because they're not really good people and they're just pretending to be good, or are they truly good people who simply fail to deal with certain situations?"