Chapter

Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility: Proving ‘Can't Help Himself’ as a Narrow Bar to Criminal Liability

Henry T. Greely

in Law and Neuroscience

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599844
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.003.0005

Series: Current Legal Issues

Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility: Proving ‘Can't Help Himself’ as a Narrow Bar to Criminal Liability

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This chapter focuses on the claim that the criminal defendant ‘can't help himself’, asking specifically ‘how could such a claim be proven’? It argues that for a defendant to mount the defence that he ‘can't help himself’, there must be specific proof that ties some characteristics of that defendant (a condition, whether genetic, brain-based, or behavioural) that correlates extremely strongly with the criminal behaviour in question. The chapter cites Branner Syndrome and coprolalia (as part of Tourette Syndrome) as examples where proof may exonerate.

Keywords: criminal defence; defendants; criminal behaviour; Branner Syndrome; coprolalia; Tourette Syndrome

Chapter.  8332 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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