June
11
 

Brain scan fails legal test in Tennessee

American lawyers are itching to get fMRI brain scans admitted in court as evidence of their client’s mental state. All previous attempts have failed, although sometimes they may have had an effect upon sentencing in a few cases.

The latest high-profile case concluded this week in Tennessee where Lorne Semrau, the CEO of two nursing homes accused of rorting Medicare, is pleading that he had acted in good faith. He submitted brain scans taken by lie detection company, Cephos, to demonstrate his sincerity.

Federal Court Judge Tu Pham dismissed them as evidence but, significantly, added that “in the future, should fMRI-based lie detection undergo further testing, development, and peer review, improve upon standards controlling the technique’s operation, and gain acceptance by the scientific community for use in the real world, this methodology may be found to be admissible”. ~ Wired, June 1



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