News and Commentary Archive

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

Mission

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.

Video: Steven Pinker: “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century”

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, CLBB and the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry co-sponsored a talk by Steven Pinker, renowned Harvard cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular author, to discuss his most recent book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Video of the event is included below in its entirety and at our Vimeo page. Continue reading »

Watch: “Free Will: What Can Physiology Explain?”

While we may believe that we choose and direct our movements consciously, the physiology of human motor control provides compelling evidence that this sense of conscious decision – free will – is a perception only.

On Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, CLBB and the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry co-sponsored an event exploring how an understanding of human motor control can contribute to the question of free will. Video of the event is included below in its entirety and at our Vimeo page. Continue reading »

Dispatch: “Neuro-interventions and the Law” Conference

Dr. Ekaterina Pivovarova

Dr. Ekaterina Pivovarova

On September 12-14, 2014, the Atlanta Neuroethics Consortium was held at Georgia State University. The topic, Neuro-Interventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity, brought together leading scholars on philosophy, neuroscience, law, cognitive and clinical psychology, psychiatry, and bioethics. The participants included Judge Andre Davis, Nita Farahany, Stephen Morse, Francis Shen, Walter Sinnot-Armstrong, Nicole Vincent, and Paul Root Wolpe. The conference panels, talks, and keynotes addressed pressing issues about managing and appropriately utilizing novel neuroscientific technologies as they relate to legal issues. Continue reading »

CLBB Expert Testimony Leads to Major Victory on Parole Eligibility Ruling in Louisiana

October 6, 2020

On October 6, 2020, the 24th Judicial District Court in Louisiana held a Miller re-sentencing hearing in State of Louisiana v. Lawrence Jacobs, to determine Mr. Jacobs’ eligibility for parole. Jacobs was 16 when he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Describing the expert testimony of CLBB Associate Managing Director Dr. Robert Kinscherff as “the most helpful evidence” in the case, the court found that Jacobs’ offense had the features of transient immaturity and that Jacobs had demonstrated a capacity for embracing a positive way of life. The Court ruled that Jacobs was immediately eligible for parole. See the court’s opinion in this case here:

Highlight in the opinion: “The court finds that the most helpful evidence presented during the hearing was that which bore specifically upon defendant’s chances of rehabilitation… as Dr. Kinscherff, stated in his testimony, we don’t have to guess as to defendant’s capacity for embracing a positive way of life; we can see how he has developed.”

General Newsletter – April 5, 2018

General Newsletter – January 3, 2018