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Law and NeuroscienceCurrent Legal Issues Volume 13$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.001.0001

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What Neuroscience Can (and Cannot) Tell Us about Criminal Responsibility

What Neuroscience Can (and Cannot) Tell Us about Criminal Responsibility

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 What Neuroscience Can (and Cannot) Tell Us about Criminal Responsibility
Source:
Law and Neuroscience
Author(s):

Walter Glannon (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.003.0002

This chapter presents eight cases to frame and discuss the question of how neuroscience, in the form of neuroimaging, can inform evaluations of people's actions in the criminal law realm. The discussion supports the view that neuroscience can inform but not determine judgments of criminal responsibility. The cases presented suggest that brain imaging may be more useful in assessing judgments of criminal negligence, less useful in cases of impulsive behaviour and psychopathy, and least useful in judgments of criminal intent. It cautions against falling prey to a so-called ‘brain overclaim syndrome’.

Keywords:   neuroscience, neuroimaging, criminal law, judgements, criminal responsibility, criminal negligence, criminal intent

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