News and Commentary Archive

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


The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior puts the most accurate and actionable neuroscience in the hands of judges, lawyers, policymakers and journalists—people who shape the standards and practices of our legal system and affect its impact on people’s lives. We work to make the legal system more effective and more just for all those affected by the law.

UN expert slams US as only nation to imprison kids for life without parole

By Natasja Sheriff | Al-Jazeera America | 9 March 2015

NEW YORK — The United States was singled out Monday by a United Nations expert on torture for being the only country in the world that continues to sentence children to life in prison without parole.

“The vast majority of states have taken note of the international human rights requirements regarding life imprisonment of children without the possibility of release,” Juan Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, said in his report, before noting that the United States is the only country to continue the practice. Continue reading »

How to avoid the perils of witness misidentification

By Wilson Dizard | Al Jazeera America | June 4, 2014

Part of the Al Jazeera America original series The System, exploring controversy within the criminal justice system.

On the day of the 1989 murder Brooklyn prosecutors said he committed, Jonathan Fleming was vacationing with his family at Disney World. But that didn’t stop him from spending half his life behind bars.

“I knew he didn’t do it, because I was there,” his mother, Patricia, who traveled with him to the theme park, told The Associated Press.

His alibi didn’t stop prosecutors from pursuing the case, claiming Jonathan Fleming flew round trip from Florida to New York just to kill his friend, Darryl “Black” Rush, that sweltering August day. Continue reading »