Medicine: No Brakes

Psychiatrists believe that there is a large group of people in the U.S.—perhaps half a million—who are legally sane (i.e., they know the difference between right & wrong) but socially irresponsible. Many of them are brilliant and charming. Their condition is likened to a fine automobile with no brakes. At any time they may steal, maim or kill, and when they do they will feel little or no remorse.

Doctors have never been able to do anything for such cases. Even the attempt to find a name for the condition has only added to the confusion. In the 19th Century, victims of...