The obvious effect of such theories is to exonerate the offender no matter what he or she may have done. In the index for Freud’s works, which fills an entire volume, one word is missing—responsibility.
Without responsibility, no one is guilty. “Alcoholism and drug addictions became ‘diseases,’ criminality became a ‘byproduct’ of the social environment in which people were raised, and so on.’” Instead of being guilty, we are all victims—not only of what others have done to us but also victims of our own feelings and therefore not accountable. Thus the District of Columbia Court of Appeals decision in 1954 that a person “could be ruled not guilty of a crime by reason of irresistible impulse…later led to the acquittal of John Hinckley in the attempted assassination of then President Reagan.”