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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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Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility: Proving ‘Can't Help Himself’ as a Narrow Bar to Criminal Liability

Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility: Proving ‘Can't Help Himself’ as a Narrow Bar to Criminal Liability

Chapter:
(p.61) 5 Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility: Proving ‘Can't Help Himself’ as a Narrow Bar to Criminal Liability
Source:
Law and Neuroscience
Author(s):

Henry T. Greely (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the claim that the criminal defendant ‘can't help himself’, asking specifically ‘how could such a claim be proven’? It argues that for a defendant to mount the defence that he ‘can't help himself’, there must be specific proof that ties some characteristics of that defendant (a condition, whether genetic, brain-based, or behavioural) that correlates extremely strongly with the criminal behaviour in question. The chapter cites Branner Syndrome and coprolalia (as part of Tourette Syndrome) as examples where proof may exonerate.

Keywords:   criminal defence, defendants, criminal behaviour, Branner Syndrome, coprolalia, Tourette Syndrome

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