The mindset of heinous criminals
As a follow up to comment 11 of the above entry, which when something like this:
"If you believe that heinous criminals (of the sort that would receive the death penalty) are fundamentally evil/psychologically disturbed, you might agree with execution as you wouldn't think they were capable of repenting. However, if you believe that these people can be rehabilitated and can, indeed, realise that what they did was deeply wrong is there not a large argument for keeping things how they are?"
I find it conceptually difficult to think that a serial killer, for example, might realise the true horror of their crimes, as any 'normal' (term used very loosely) member of society understands them, and repent of them. If they truly accept what they've done in terms of the generally accepted morality would they not be utterly disgusted with themselves. Is this an argument to support the idea that serious criminals are indeed fundamentally disturbed?