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)

From Wired.

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 |

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 ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

 

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

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.