Neuroscience in the Courtroom: The Promise and the Peril
The use of neuroscience in the courtroom has become a contentious issue in both criminal and civil cases. Brain scans and similar evidence have made increasingly regular appearances in the courtroom. Common uses include competence, mitigation during sentencing, evidence, and to establish ineffective counsel. Questions about the use of neuroscience in the courtroom aren’t fully resolved. For example, should murder defendants be held less accountable because images of their brains indicate frontal lobe dysfunction? Can research on adolescent brain development prove children’s inability to form criminal intent? As the judicial system grapples with the intersection of law and neuroscience, our experts discuss how neuroscience can be used, or misused, in the legal system.
Legal and ethical challenges in criminal justice predictions based on neuroscience
Understanding the use—and misuse—of neuroscience in criminal court
The emerging chasm between neuroscience and medicine admissibility of evidence pertaining to brain anatomy and function
The adolescent brain and felony charges related to intent
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Sponsored by the ABA Journal. Part of the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain and Behavior (CLBB) and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.