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ONE MAN’S STORY: HOW I BECAME A “DISORGANIZED,” DANGEROUS VIOLENT CRIMINAL

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-0-76231-096-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 7 July 2004

Abstract

In our paper, Randy Starr, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity for committing murder, tells his life story with my help. Our collaboration helps erase the fictitious line traditionally drawn between subject and analyst in life stories. We cover the period from his early childhood to his late twenties when he committed the homicide that led to his involuntary commitment to a state’s mental health system. In telling his life story, we vividly describe his passage through the four stages of the violentization and later descent into “self disorganization,” which is seen as a normal part of the process of dramatic self change. It is made clear by us that the severe self disorganization into which he descended did not originate independently from his violentization, but instead was a direct by-product of it. We conclude that he should have been adjudged a “disorganized dangerous violent criminal” and found “guilty, but in need of and susceptible to treatment.” A plea is made to make this verdict available to judges and juries in such cases.

Citation

Athens, L. and Starr, R. (2004), "ONE MAN’S STORY: HOW I BECAME A “DISORGANIZED,” DANGEROUS VIOLENT CRIMINAL", Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 259-282. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-2396(04)27017-X

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited