I'm so sick of people excusing their own ridiculous behavior with a shrug and "that's just the way I am!"

Molest children? Don't blame Michael Jackson, that's just the way he is!

Drown your children? Don't blame Andrea Yates, that's the just way she is!

Bash your kids' heads in with a rock? Don't blame Deanna Laney, that's just the way she is!

Those are particularly heinous examples of course, but just about everyone is quick to forgive their own evil. The "I was born that way" defense of genetic predisposition gets us nowhere, because it shouldn't matter why a crime was committed (motive), only that it was committed. Motive shouldn't be confused with intent: intent means that the crime was committed purposefully, and motive can be used to show intent. Intent is a necessary component of some crimes (such as first degree murder), but motive should be irrelevant.

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