The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

A rotten childhood? Should it make a difference?

Posted by pauaprincess on July 25, 2007

It’s the old nature versus nurture (or lack thereof) story being trotted out at the court of Appeals this week in Auckland, as Antonie Ronnie Dixon’s appeal is heard.

r8antdixon Antonie Dixon was convicted in 2005 for samurai sword attacks cutting off the hands of Simmone Butler and Renee Gumbie, he stole a car and travelled to Auckland where he killed James Te Aute with a home made machine gun, shot at Police andtook a hostage, whilst high on methamphetemine. 

His lawyer is arguing that Dixon’s abysmal childhood should have been taken into account.

The attacks occurred in 2003.  When Dixon was 33 years old. You can read more about Dixon here, if you want to.

The point? Should his childhood make a difference? Should it make a difference for anyone, anywhere in the world?

Lots of people have crappy childhoods, very few of them kill people because of it.  So is it nature or nurture?

Twins raised apart have been shown to exhibit remarkable similarities in character, in spite of differences in upbringing and role models.  There would seem to be a good case to suggest that our characters are predefined by biology.  But then, the children of killers don’t necessarily become killers themselves either.

Personally, I don’t think his childhood has any bearing on the fact he took methamphetamine and in a state of chemical imbalance, attacked and killed people with lethal weapons.  Taking drugs is a personal choice, getting hooked on them is a result of a poor personal choice.  I don’t think an insanity defense applies if you choose to take a mind altering substance and commit crimes under it’s influence either.  It’s all about choice.

We all make choices to rise above our upbringing every day.  We vow never to do some of the things our parents did, be they major or minor.  We choose to be better people and we can choose not to be.

Antonie Dixon is a menace and a danger to society.  As far as I am concerned they should lock him up and throw away the key.  There are Antonie Dixon’s out there all over the world.  For every Antonie Dixon out there, there is a lawyer, telling a judge or jury, that they had a bad childhood, is it applicable?  What would you think as a juror?

Then again, if we accept some people are bad by nature, is that an acceptable excuse to be a killer?

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One Response to “A rotten childhood? Should it make a difference?”

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