Nobody could fail to feel revulsion while reading about Joefs Fritzl and how he held his daughter captive in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.
To most of us it seems a forgone conclusion that he now faces a long stretch in prison for the inhumane treatment of his family but psychiatrists are investigating his state of mind to see whether he is fit to answer to his crimes in a criminal court.
"My personal opinion is that Josef Fritzl is mentally ill and therefore certifiably insane. I believe that my client doesn't belong in prison but rather in a closed psychiatric clinic," said the lawyer and so begins the debate over was he responsible for his own actions.
What he subjected his daughter to was so shockingly evil that you could easily conclude that it could not be done by a sane person. He must therefore be insane. Problem is that it then leads to the proposition that the more awful and horrific the crime, the more likely it is that the perpetrator is insane, and we do not put insane people through the normal trial procedures.
You could also make the argument that for him to set about achieving what he did for 24 years, he must have been in full control of his faculties otherwise he would have been discovered years ago.
The diminished responsibility argument doesn't seem to sit too well with the public who feel that the offender escapes being punished for their crimes under the full weight of the law and justice has not been done.
We will have to put our faith in the psychiatrists who ultimately make the decision whether he was bad or mad.