News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

Oklahoma Sued for Drawing the Blinds on Botched Execution

By Erin Dooley | ABC News | August 25, 2014

Prompted by the botched execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett, the ACLU today filed a lawsuit alleging that state prison officials violated reporters’ First Amendment rights when they drew the shade nearly 30 minutes before Lockett’s death.

Clayton Lockett, 38.

Clayton Lockett, age 38.

“Because of the State’s use of the viewing shade … the press and public received only government-edited access to an important government proceeding,” the suit asserts.

Lockett, 38, who was writhing on his gurney, “appeared to be in pain” before the blinds were drawn, the petition says. Afterward, sounds from inside the chamber “indicated pain and suffering,” but journalists were “deprived of the opportunity to verify the nature and source of the sounds.” Continue reading »

Doctors Call: End Warning on Antidepressants or Risk Suicides

ABC News | July 9, 2014 | Susan Donaldson James

Mental health experts are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to remove its most severe label – the so-called “black box warning” — on all categories of antidepressants because it has been “highly correlated” with a more than 33 percent jump in suicide attempts over the last decade as doctors and patients who could benefit from the drugs have shied away from using them.

June study published in the BMJ backs up previous research that shows a link between fears about the use of antidepressants and young people taking their lives.

The data is “startling,” said Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, which is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital.

“A black box warning means parents and doctors must be aware and monitor,” he told ABC News. “But that’s the next closest thing to prohibition.”

Continue reading »