Understanding the Criminal Mind

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Feb. 19, 2007


  Dr. Stephen Morse

  Professor of Law and Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania


Publications include "Moral and Legal Responsibility and the New

Neuroscience,"  "Brain Overclaim Syndrome and Criminal Responsibility: A Diagnostic Note,"  "Reason, Results and Criminal Responsibility"


"If you suffer a particular kind of genetically driven neurotransmitter defect and you've been abused, you're more likely to commit a crime than if you've been simply abused. But does that mean you are not responsible for intentional behavior you have engaged in that harms the behaviors and interests of other people?  Does simply finding a cause for behavior mean people are not responsible for the behavior, whether the cause is biological, psychological or sociological?  If causation were an excusing condition, no one would be responsible for anything."