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Sentencing and Neuroscience: The Legal Framework, its Evolution, its Direction
Tuesday, September 29, 2020|3:00 pm - 4:30 pm UTC
Hon. Nancy Gertner (Ret.) and Dr. Francis Shen
Co-sponsored with the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital, this Zoom program is the first seminar of the Neuroscience and Law Series for Massachusetts Judges.
This session will introduce recent and exciting developments at the intersection of neuroscience and law, with a focus on the judicial role in evaluating neuroscientific claims at sentencing. The session will first introduce how neuroscience is increasingly introduced in courtrooms in both civil and criminal contexts, both guilt and sentencing. The presentation will then provide a deep-dive on issues specific to criminal sentencing and neuroscience, including the various types of brain evidence that might be proffered as sentencing; when and how brain evidence can usefully inform sentencing decisions; the challenge of making individual sentencing decisions based on group-averaged neuroscience data; and brain development and sentencing of adolescents and young adults.