Criminal liability in children

Neuroimaging evidences are popularly and commonly used to exercise excuse defense of insanity. By providing neurological evidences that the offender’s brain fails to comply with the normal activity of the human brain and abnormalities are present with in it, and with nueroradiologist experts backing up his claims he then may found himself excused from the crime that was committed. Thus, introduction of neuroimaging evidences in plea of not guilty as a reason for insanity has been widely introduced.

A high profile case that included the introduction and used of neuroscience as part of evidence was seen in the trials which involve the assassination of then President Ronald Reagan. A CT scan showing atropy of the brain was presented and admitted in court to give the jury all possible relevant information that would provide weight in hading out the verdict. An expert in the field of neuroscience also testified saying that the degree of atropy was beyond normal understanding and is an indication of an organic brain disease.

A psychiatrist then strengthens this statement by discussing that the degree of abnormalities in the brain activity indeed indicates that the person who tried to assassinate President Reagan was suffering from schizophrenia. Thus, with the defense of insanity used as the primary excuse, the defendant was given a not guilty decision. Another case with is noting to tackle is the one involving Weinstein. The defendant was accused of strangling and murder of his wife. As a defense, the excuse of insanity was also taken.

The defense claims that the actions were taken and dictated by the cyst which was growing on the defendant’s brain in the frontal lobe part. The defense theory was that since Weinstein is suffering from a mental effect, his actions could be blinded by this disorder and that he can not be held responsible for his actions since he is suffering from insanity. The prosecution tries desperately to prevent the admission of evidence, but in the long run the court allowed the use the images, documents and testimonies concerning with neuroscience.

Shortly after documents were admitted, the prosecution sought for a negotiation and reduced the charged to manslaughter. Neuroscience has indeed provided a huge impact in different disciplines such as in medicine and psychology. Today, neuroscience is slowly generating interest to the public eye as its effect on implementing law and punishing criminals are slowly being felt. The impact is evident in handing out verdicts at guilt phase, as neuroimaging evidence and experts’ testimonies lay the foundations in creating and exercising the excuse of insanity defense.

Though some have failed in using the alibi, it is interesting to note high profile cases that have enjoyed a considerable of success. It is also interesting to know how striking the number of people using neuroscience evidences in court procedures. Though some court rejects the use of the image and documents, many courts have already admitted its use, and more are likely to follow. As more courts adapt the use of neuroscience as evidences, the more the use of the said field in processing guilty verdicts and punishment will be accepted.

A huge impact from the field of neuroscience is looming ahead that awaits our criminal justice system as people journeys into the human brain to seek for answers behind human behavior. Indeed, neuroscience has provided us a big boost in order to help us understand our behavior and will continue to do so as the field of neuroscience is yet to achieve its full potential and with the advent of new technology, the field will continue to advance and thus provide men with greater benefits.

Work’s Cited

Page Bear, M. F. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Baltimore: Lippincott, 2001. Dalby, J. T. "Criminal liability in children". Canadian Journal of Criminology Aug. 1985: 137-145 Hart, Henry M . “The Aims of the Criminal Law,” 23 Law and Contemporary Problems  1958: 401 Kandel, E. , Schwartz JH, Jessell TM. Principles of Neural Science. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. Squire, L. et al. Fundamental Neuroscience. Academic Press, 2003. United State v. Anderson 79 S. W. 3d 420  2002. U. S v. Mezvinsky 206 F. Supp 2d 661  D. Pa. 2002.