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

More Than a Decade After Release, They All Come Back

For 13 years, reporter Kevin Johnson and his colleagues at USA Today have tracked nine people who were released from solitary confinement in Texas on the same day in 2002. All vowed never to return. All suffered from a form of “sensory paralysis” that impacted their ability to adapt to life on the outside. And all eventually found their way back to solitary for another stretch. (via The Marshall Project)

Kevin Johnson | USA Today | November 4, 2015

IOWA PARK, Texas — Silvestre Segovia had vowed many times over that he would never return to solitary confinement.

Languishing in the vast Texas prison system’s solitary confinement wings for more than a decade had exacted a heavy emotional toll. And there was so much to discover about a new world that confronted him on a much-anticipated exit that chilly morning, Nov. 15, 2002. A loyal girlfriend waited 255 miles away. There might even be a market for the catalog of detailed sketches that he had created to pass the years of numbing isolation.

But where to begin? Continue reading »

Courts, States Put Death Penalty on Life Support

By Richard Wolf and Kevin Johnson | USA Today | September 14, 2015

Introduction

‘EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK…THERE’S A PROBLEM’

If there is such a thing as a lock for the death penalty, the case against Daniel Higgins appeared to be just that.

Already sought for sexually assaulting a child, Higgins killed Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Naylorlast October with a point-blank shot to the head, making him the only deputy slain in the department’s 130-year history. “I wanted him dead,” Sheriff Gary Painter says of the murderer.

But Naylor’s widow, Denise Davis, said she couldn’t bear the likely rounds of appeals that could stretch on for decades. Higgins was allowed to plead guilty and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

The death penalty in America may be living on borrowed time. Continue reading »

Sterling trial spotlights major issue for Baby Boomers

By Josh Peter | USA Today | July 7, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Beyond the high-powered lawyers and public fight over the $2 billion sale of an NBA team, Donald and Shelly Sterling are caught in a struggle that often unfolds when someone reaches an advanced age and difficult questions arise.

Is it safe for him to drive? Does he need a caregiver?

Or, in the case of 80-year-old Donald Sterling, does he have the mental capacity to serve as a co-trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Los Angeles Clippers? Continue reading »