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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

Red Flags: Early Warnings of Wrongful Convictions

…Presuming the innocent guilty, says Drizin, often stems from flawed interrogation training. Much of law enforcement personnel’s training convinces them that they are tantamount to human lie detectors (see more on this in this series’ next installment) with superior abilities to “read” guilt or innocence from a suspect’s emotional affect or body language. Deception research by social scientists like Bella DePaulo, however, show otherwise.

If detectives lock in on a suspect too early, cautions Itiel Dror of theUniversity College of London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, tunnel vision kicks in along with “escalation of commitment” to their conclusions. And through confirmation bias, the brain seeks facts that confirm existing beliefs while it discounts or disregards information that conflicts.

Meanwhile, many errors in an investigation are effectively buried before a case goes to trial, says Drizin. They’re simply invisible to the types and level of scrutiny a case typically receives as it works its way through the system….

Source: Pacific Standard, Sept. 6, 2012. By Sue Russell.
[Read the full article at PSMag.com]