Tonight we are pleased to host an event exploring fMRI and its legal significance. Although [neuroimaging] is still an emerging technology, it has proven to be very consequential in at least one situation. In September 2008, the New York Times reported that a court in India allowed the use of brain scan images in a criminal case, which ultimately led to the conviction of an Indian woman accused of poisoning her fiance. To this day, the Indian woman maintains her innocence. Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford Law School and a colleague of our speakers, commented on the verdict, [characterizing it as] "both interesting and disturbing." He also wrote in the American Journal of Law and Medicine the following: "If brain scans are widely adopted, the legal issues alone are enormous, implicating at least the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. At the same time, the potential benefits to society of such a technology, if used well, could be at least equally large. Tonight, our speakers who are, as I said, Mr. Greely's colleagues, will present on this topic, but it will be more focused [on] evidentiary issues."
Teneille Brown and Emily R. Murphy,
Through a Scanner Darkly: The Use of FMRI as Evidence of Mens Rea,
22 J.L. & Health
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol22/iss2/7