Brain Scan Used in Murder Sentencing

For the first time, evidence from an fMRI was introduced as evidence for the defense during the penalty phase of a murder trial. Brian Dugan was convicted in Chicago of the rape and murder of a ten-year-old. Dugan's scan was introduced to show his brain was psychopathic. It is not clear how this information was supposed to mitigate his culpability, as Dugan was ultimately sentenced to death.
“I don’t know of any other cases where fMRI was used in that context,” Stanford professor Hank Greely told Science.

While the possibility of using fMRI data in a variety of contexts, particularly lie detection, has bounced around the margins of the legal system for years, there are almost no documented cases of its actual use. In the 2005 case Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court allowed brain scans to be entered as evidence to show that adolescent brains work differently than adult brains.

That’s a far cry, though, from using fMRI to establish the truth of testimony or that specific structures within an individual defendant’s brain are legally relevant.

It’s difficult to tell whether the Dugan case will be a watershed moment in the use of brain scan evidence in court, or if the evidence impacted the decision in this case.

The jury is still out, so to speak, on the reliability of brain scans for its many possible uses in law enforcement. Link

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I'm a Criminal Justice student and this is groundbreaking news, especially in terms of criminal profiling. We were talking about the ethics of such a test on criminals to see if their criminality was "innate" somehow and if it was impossible to prevent recidivism in some, was it invasion of privacy if required, is it valid in court, and other questions that I can't remember, there were so many points.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
all i have to say is,http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2009/09/fmri-gets-slap-in-face-with-dead-fish.html
Mri's are not all there cracked up to be. There great at finding damage in the body but thats about it.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Email This Post to a Friend
"Brain Scan Used in Murder Sentencing"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window