chapter  9
14 Pages

Criminal Violence and the Brain

Violent crimes-murder, rape, robbery, and assault-are crimes that evoke the greatest fear and outrage in us all. Violent crime is the use of force exercised without excuse or justi¿cation to achieve a goal at the expense of a victim. Physically harming a victim may be the motive behind a violent crime, or harm may be secondary to achieving the perpetrator’s goal, as in a robbery. We exclude from our consideration other kinds of violence such as state warfare, violence occurring in sports, justi¿ed use of force by law enforcement of¿cers, or the use of violence in defending oneself from unprovoked attack.