lead poisoning, criminal defenses, excuses, determinism, free will


A brief survey of the causes and consequences of lead poisoning suggests that lead poisoning is pervasive, particularly among blacks in urban communities, that it's effects can be debilitating, and that it has been linked to disciplinary problems, aggression, and repetitive and oftentimes violent crime. There is a legitimate question, then, about whether lead poisoning should be considered a viable criminal defense. The question of whether lead poisoning should be a defense is perhaps most appropriately placed in the context of debates regarding free will, determinism, and the ability of social scientists to predict the course of any one individual's behavior.

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