Genetics and Criminality: The Potential Misuse of Scientific Information in Court
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
As scientists come closer to identifying genetic markers for human behavior, society is challenged to determine how reliable these findings might be and whether they can be used to solve real-life problems. If there are specific genes that predispose people to violence, how should the courts use this genetic information? Does it matter, in prosecution and sentencing, whether a genetic predisposition to criminality exists? How should we weigh this information against environmental influences such as poverty or physical abuse?
This book examines these questions by considering the perspectives of leaders in science, medicine, law, and philosophy, perspectives that don't neatly intersect. Essential reading for social scientists and criminal lawyers, Genetics and Criminality offers a thought-provoking analysis of the delicate balance between knowledge and justice.
I. History of Genetic Research and the Philosophy of Free Will and Determinism
Introduction to Part I
- On the Threshold: Illusion and Reality in American Psychiatric Thought
Gerald N. Grob
• Criminal Determinism in Twentieth-Century America
Edward J . Larson
- "Big Ideas, Images and Distorted Facts": The Insanity Defense, Genetics, and the "Political World"
Michael L. Perlin
- The Genetics of Behavior and Concepts of Free Will and Determinism
Dan W. Brock and Allen E. Buchanan
• Genetics, Social Responsibility, and Social Practices
Lisa S. Parker
• Natural-Born Defense Attorneys
Robert F. Schopp
II. The Complex Interface of Clinical Psychiatry and Genetic Research
Introduction to Part II
- Phenomenology of Psychiatric Illnesses With Special Reference to Risk of Violence and Other Criminal Behavior
Samuel B. Guze
• Genetic Research and the Clinical Subtleties of Mental Illness
• Violence and Mental Illness: Additional Complexities
Robert M. Wettstein
- Genetic Research on Mental Disorders
Steven O. Moldin
• New Techniques in the Genetic Analysis of Complex Illness
III. Genetic Research in Relation to Criminal and Juvenile Law
Introduction to Part III
- Criminal Responsibility and the "Genetics Defense"
• The "Genetics Defense": Hurdles and Pressures
• The Use of Human Genome Research in Criminal Defense and Mitigation of Punishment
Daniel A. Summer
• The "Defective Gene" Defense in Criminal Cases
Creighton C. Horton II
- Juvenile Law and Genetics
Mark A. Small
- Juvenile Culpability and Genetics
Jeffrey A. Kovnick
IV. Conclusions and Recommendations
- A Brave New Crime-Free World?
- Criminal Law
Leslie Pickering Francis
- The New Genetics and Juvenile Law
William M. McMahon
About the Editors
Jeffrey R. Botkin, MD, MPH, is a professor of pediatrics and an adjunct professor of internal medicine in the Division of Medical Ethics at the University of Utah. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is a pediatrician with fellowship training in law, ethics, and health at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, and he is the director of the Genetic Science in Society (GENESIS) program at the University of Utah Center for Human Genome Research, a program devoted to education and research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic research.
His research and writing focuses on ethical and legal issues in prenatal diagnosis and genetic testing for cancer susceptibility. He is a member of the Committee on Bioethics for the American Academy of Pediatrics and is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
William M. McMahon, MD, is associate professor of psychiatry and adjunct associate professor of pediatrics and psychology at the University of Utah. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees as well as his first year of psychiatry residency at the University of Kansas, and subsequently served as a medical intern at Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone. He completed residency training in general psychiatry, followed by a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Utah. He served as president of the Utah Psychiatric Association in 1981. His clinical duties have included directing an inpatient psychiatry unit for children and adolescents; directing a clinic for children with Tourette syndrome, learning problems, and autism; and serving as a court-appointed examiner for commitment hearings.
He was awarded the Karl Manwaring Memorial Award by the Utah Tourette Syndrome Association, and is listed in The Best Doctors in America. In 1992, he was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health grant for training in molecular and clinical genetics. His research is focused on genetic components of Tourette, autism, and other neurobehavioral disorders.
Leslie Pickering Francis, JD, PhD, is a professor of law, professor of philosophy, and an adjunct professor of internal medicine at the Division of Medical Ethics at the University of Utah. She received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1974 and her JD from the University of Utah in 1981. She was a law clerk to Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1981–82.
She specializes in health law, bioethics, and legal ethics, and is the author of a number of articles on issues in philosophy of law, health care, and professional ethics. She is currently a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association's Commission on the Legal Problems of the Elderly, the Executive Committee of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, and the Utah state bar's Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee. She also chairs the American Philosophical Association's Committee for the Defense of the Professional Rights of Philosophers.
—New England Journal of Medicine, June 8, 2000