Brain Scans Can Detect Criminals

Posted: Mar 14 2017, 10:30am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Brain Scans Can Detect Criminals
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  • Brain Scans can Allow Detection of Criminals

Apparently, brain scans can allow the early detection of potential criminals. This research has a special place in the annals of criminology.

Most of the time, the judicial system tends to waver between thoughts of the criminals being helpless and them being responsible for their actions. The line dividing innocence from culpability gets hazy at times.

Neuroscientists had pondered this question too but had come up blank since the internal know-how regarding the black box that is the human brain remained a mystery. Yet all that has changed with the latest technology which has come to the rescue.

Brain scans can easily determine whether someone is acting on his or her will or just acting like a puppet on a string due to his or her hormones and brain chemicals.

Thus for such major crimes as murder, rape and burglary, the jail sentences can now be stiffer or more lenient based on the mental state of the criminal. This discovery is scheduled for publication this week in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While it will not be used in court evidence just yet, the future lies wide open for its application. The times to come will belong to “neurolaw” which is the novel emerging science.

40 people were part of the study. Whether they committed crimes knowingly or recklessly was to be determined. The same crime under different mental states could lead to 14 years in jail or simply probation.

It all depends which side of the culpability divide you are situated on. The 40 subjects were told to carry a suitcase some distance and told that it contained drugs.

Their mental states were closely monitored to see whether they thought what they were doing was wrong or right. Some of them weren’t too sure that the suitcase they were carrying had drugs in it or not.

What all this shows is that science is a different field from law. While it can hold some place for values in its ambit, it is more rigorous and decides the argument based on solid facts instead of wishy-washy thinking.

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