Friday, August 24, 2012
Francis X. Shen (University of Minnesota Law School) has posted Law and Neuroscience: Possibilities for Prosecutors (CDAA Prosecutors Brief, Vol. 33, No. 4, p. 17, 2011) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Many see the introduction of neuroscience into law as necessarily leading to reduced culpability, mitigation, and the ratcheting down of incarceration rates. But such possibilities may not materialize if prosecutors stay ahead of the brain science curve. This commentary provides a brief introduction to neurolaw, and highlights several key features of neuroscientific evidence that are relevant to prosecutors' work.
I propose strategies by which prosecutors may respond to the introduction of neuroscientific evidence by the defense.
Recognizing that the legal use of neuroscientific evidence relies so heavily on inference and interpretation, prosecutors have an opportunity to harness the power of brain science to both prevent its misuse and to constructively use the science to promote safety and social welfare. Possibilities abound for prosecutors who are willing to research, learn, and engage with the brain sciences.