Brain Scan Used In Murder Trial Sentencing
The fMRI brain scan of accused murderer Brian Dugan was introduced in the sentencing portion of his murder trial. The defense used the scan to try to demonstrate that the defendant's brain was psychopathic.
The debate over whether or not to use fMRI evidence has several dimensions. The first is whether reliable evidence can be obtained. On that score, fMRI appears to perform well. In a very small number of studies, researchers have identified lying in study subjects with accuracy ranging from 76 percent to over 90 percent. The real doubts begin to surface about whether the data will be good outside the laboratory in real settings.
“When you build a model based on people in the laboratory, it may or may not be that applicable to someone who has practiced their lie over and over, or someone who has been accused of something,” Elizabeth Phelps, a neuroscientist at New York University told Wired.com in March. “I don’t think that we have any standard of evidence that this data is going to be reliable in the way that the courts should be admitting.”
The brain scan was not admitted into evidence during the trial; it is recognized that courts are more lenient in introducing material in the sentencing portion of capital cases.
Science fiction writers have been fascinated with the idea that technology that looks at brain activity could be used during a trial. For example, 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)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/24/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'
Will The FDA Approve This Antiaging Drug?
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1951.
EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.
Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.' - Clifford Simak, 1961.
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.
effie Automated Ironing Appliance
'Household Automata received an urgent task to develop production units of бытовые тканевые разглаживатели - a household fabric smoother.'
BabyX AI Real Enough For You
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man? I'm showing a voice this instant... I can show a face the same way.'
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'
Pegasus, Nvidia Supercomputer For Autonomous Driving
'...a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis.'
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
'You can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit... and the tube will "remember" what was done and can direct the operation...'
Self-Assembling Bacteria Build A Pressure Sensor
Nature is a master of fabricating structured materials consisting of living and non-living components.
3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories