Just a little light weekend reading. The Brain on Trial, in The Atlantic, by uber-genius David Eagleman, starts by diving into mass murderer Charles Whitman's brain and then roots around for meaning and justice. You didn't learn this stuff in Crim Law class.
Here's one of the very rare boring bits in the piece, but at least it tells you what he's up to:
If I seem to be heading in an uncomfortable direction—toward letting criminals off the hook—please read on, because I’m going to show the logic of a new argument, piece by piece. The upshot is that we can build a legal system more deeply informed by science, in which we will continue to take criminals off the streets, but we will customize sentencing, leverage new opportunities for rehabilitation, and structure better incentives for good behavior. Discoveries in neuroscience suggest a new way forward for law and order—one that will lead to a more cost-effective, humane, and flexible system than the one we have today. When modern brain science is laid out clearly, it is difficult to justify how our legal system can continue to function without taking what we’ve learned into account.