Published January 1, 2008
Brain researchers believe their work will profoundly impact — and perhaps even come to dominate — the legal system. They seem particularly drawn to the criminal law, especially death penalty cases, where brain scans have aided defendants’ arguments that they don’t deserve to die for their crimes. Some researchers even aspire to overthrow the very concept of retribution. But, as O. Carter Snead argues, the growing influence of neuroscience could well exacerbate the worst aspects of today’s capital punishment system.