Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
EMPATHY FOR PSYCHOPATHS: USING FMRI BRAIN SCANS TO PLEA FOR LENIENCY IN DEATH PENALTY CASES
ExpressO (2012)
  • Kimberly D Phillips, Charleston School of Law
Abstract

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.

Keywords
  • psychopaths,
  • fMRI,
  • death penalty,
  • sentencing,
  • neuroscience,
  • psychology,
  • mental health
Disciplines
Publication Date
March 5, 2012
Citation Information
Kimberly D Phillips. "EMPATHY FOR PSYCHOPATHS: USING FMRI BRAIN SCANS TO PLEA FOR LENIENCY IN DEATH PENALTY CASES" ExpressO (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kimberly_phillips/2/