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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

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 »