This Article examines the implications of emerging neuroscientific findings regarding empathy for capital trials. We have approached this task with caution because neuroscientists’ understanding of the human brain is still evolving. As with any new field, if neuroscience is completely trusted before it is thoroughly tested, there is a risk of embracing the new phrenology. Given the state of the research, our advice to defense lawyers is quite modest, but we believe that there are some important lessons for lawyers, judges, legislators, and other stakeholders in the capital punishment system.
Sheri Lynn Johnson, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, and John H. Blume,
When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales from Neuroscience for Capital Sentencing,
85 Fordham L. Rev. 573
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol85/iss2/9