Madness, Badness, and Neuroimaging-Based Responsibility Assessments

Nicole A Vincent

in Law and Neuroscience

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599844
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725227 | DOI:

Series: Current Legal Issues

Madness, Badness, and Neuroimaging-Based Responsibility Assessments

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This chapter poses the interesting question whether lacking the mental capacity for moral agency excuses or condemns further. Heidi Maibom, in a recent article, has argued for the latter, so that such evidence would enhance the prosecution's case. Marga Reimer, also in a recent article, claims that such evidence both increases and condemns. It is argued that once we distinguish condemnation of people ‘for who they are’ from ‘what they do’, and realize that each of these two types of condemnation plays a role at a different stage in a criminal trial, we will see that at the guilt determination stage such evidence clearly favours the defence. The claims of Maibom and Reimer are rejected.

Keywords: mental capacity; moral agency; criminal responsibility; criminal behaviour; condemnation; guilt

Chapter.  9209 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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