Empathy for Psychopaths: Using fMRI Brain Scans to Plea for Leniency in Death Penalty Cases
Kimberly D. Phillips
Charleston School of Law
October 2, 2013
The University of Alabama Law & Psychology Review, Vol. 27 (2012-2013)
Most of the public agrees that society is safer without psychopaths. However, a new sentencing strategy for psychopaths facing the death penalty has erupted from both mental health researchers and defense lawyers - imploring juries to view a defendant's psychopathy as a consideration of sentencing mitigation, and, consequently, urging juries to impose life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. This article explains the frightening nature of psychopaths, how neuroscience and neuroimaging intersects with the study of psychopathy, and, specifically, whether an fMRI brain scan is appropriate mitigating evidence in death penalty sentencing hearings when the convicted defendant is a diagnosed psychopath.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Date posted: October 4, 2013