Entitled "The Brain on Trial: Neuroscience and the Law," the symposium discussed how advances in neuroscience pose serious challenges for the judicial system. Judges are being asked to admit as evidence the results of neuroimaging as a basis for everything from assessing the competency of a defendant to stand trial, to determine whether someone is being truthful, to judging criminal responsibility. The reliability of eyewitness testimony, the most common cause of erroneous convictions, is being questioned. Even the Supreme Court has cited research on the brain in decisions on the death penalty for the mentally retarded and persons under 18.
Support contributed by The Kavli Foundation.