Indian Court Says Brain Scan Proves Murder

Results from the Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature (BEOS) test are now accepted in Indian courts of law. This past summer, a woman was convicted of murder largely because of brain scan results.

The woman, Aditi Sharma, was accused of killing her former fiancé, Udit Bharati. They were living in Pune when Ms. Sharma met another man and eloped with him to Delhi. Later Ms. Sharma returned to Pune and, according to prosecutors, asked Mr. Bharati to meet her at a McDonald’s. She was accused of poisoning him with arsenic-laced food.

Ms. Sharma, 24, agreed to take a BEOS test in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra. (Suspects may be tested only with their consent, but forensic investigators say many agree because they assume it will spare them an aggressive police interrogation.)

After placing 32 electrodes on Ms. Sharma’s head, investigators said, they read aloud their version of events, speaking in the first person (“I bought arsenic”; “I met Udit at McDonald’s”), along with neutral statements like “The sky is blue,” which help the software distinguish memories from normal cognition.

For an hour, Ms. Sharma said nothing. But the relevant nooks of her brain where memories are thought to be stored buzzed when the crime was recounted, according to Mr. Joseph, the state investigator. The judge endorsed Mr. Joseph’s assertion that the scans were proof of “experiential knowledge” of having committed the murder, rather than just having heard about it.

In the U.S., the results from lie detectors is not admissible in courts; the National Academy of Sciences states "Almost a century of research in scientific psychology and physiology provides little basis for the expectation that a polygraph test could have extremely high accuracy..."

However, a variety of recent advances in neurological research has lead scientists (and entrepreneurs) to believe that some sort of device could be used to find the truth in a person's brain state.

Science fiction fans may recall the highly visual veridicator from H. Beam Piper's 1962 novel Little Fuzzy. Robert Heinlein had a go at the idea in his 1954 novel The Star Beast:

"Mrs. Donahue, tell us what happened."

She sniffed. " Well! I was lying down, trying to snatch a few minutes rest; I have so many responsibilities, clubs and charitable committees and things.

Greenberg was watching the truth meter over her head. The needle wobble restlessly, but did not kick over into the red enough to set off the warning buzzer...
(Read more about the truth meter)

The first work on the idea of a lie detector was done by William Moulton Marston during WWI; he worked on a systolic blood-pressure test that could be used to detect deception.

He also created an illustrated version of a special handheld lie detector in a well-known fictional work; see a brief video of this device in action.


(The original handheld lie detector)

The Lasso of Truth compels a person lassoed to tell the truth - in the Wonder Woman comic series.

According to an article in the New York Times, U.S. psychologists and neuroscientists have called the use of the Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature test in court “fascinating,” “ridiculous,” “chilling” and “unconscionable.” In the meantime, Ms. Sharma maintains her innocence.

Read more about India’s Novel Use of Brain Scans in Courts Is Debated ; see also these articles on handheld lie detectors for use in Afganistan and truth detection by blob analysis. Thanks to Moira for pointing out this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/15/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Security ")

Flimmer Navy Drone Flies And Swims
Launch the Flying Sub!

Indian Court Says Brain Scan Proves Murder
Using a test called Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature, an Indian court convicts a woman based on her brain contents.

Background Draw-a-Secret (BDAS) Makes Graphical Passwords
Interesting security technique that takes advantage of the greater ease with which we all recall pictures, as opposed to the kind of alphanumeric strings IT techs want us to use for passwords.

ID-U Biometrics Eye Tracking Signature
Interesting new method of secure identification gathers a unique response to stimulus each time; old data cannot be copied and presented to the system.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
'It's our way or the highway.'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...'

Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Sophia Robots By The Thousands
'There is a built-in microphone that hears everything you say, and an electric brain that selects a suitable answer.'

Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron
'Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

Updated Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...'

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'

Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'

Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.