sábado, 22 de enero de 2011

Neurociencias y Derecho

A través de Kedrosky, una colección de documentos breves que exponen el estado actual de las neurociencias en un lenguaje comprensible para el lego. Reproduzco algunos párrafos que relacionan estos estudios con el Derecho aunque los documentos merecen ser leídos enteros (las conexiones neuronales no se completan hasta los 20 años de vida)
Delitos de peligro cuyas penas se agravan cuando se ha actualizado el daño para el bien jurídico. ¿Por qué si no hay diferencia en cuanto a la culpabilidad?
Punishment also seems to fulfil a second function (además de la disuasoria), in satisfying the human need for justice. Legal systems do not seem to only sanction the amplitude of deviance but also the severity of the  consequences of deviant behaviour. Crossing a red light without causing an accident may lead to a temporary loss of the driver’s license. However, if the consequence is a severe accident with casualties, the punishment tends to bemuch more severe, even though the deviant behaviour, the ‘subjective guilt’, was exactly the same.
Los que cometen delitos horrorosos tienen siempre una alteración cerebral
If a person has committed what is considered to be cold blooded murder in order to obtain some benefit and a tumour is discovered in his frontal lobe, extenuating conditions may be granted. One might argue that this tumour disrupted the pathways that link the storage site of moral values with the inhibitory centres that would normally prevent the fatal action. From a neurobiological point of view, however, one might argue that any person capable of committing such a crime must always have some abnormalities in the functional architecture of his or her brain, even if this abnormality is not detectable with current technologies. Genetic dispositions could have limited the storage capacity of the networks in which moral values and imperatives get stored, or they may have led to abnormally weak control mechanisms for the inhibition of actions. The same abnormalities may have been caused by developmental mishaps, insufficient installation of moral imperatives through education, or deficient inhibitory mechanisms due to lack of training during brain maturation. If all these features of the functional architecture are actually in the normal range, then one would have to assume temporary abnormalities in the system’s dynamics, for instance caused by metabolic disturbances, or by some highly unlikely but still possible deviations of the brain’s dynamics…Thus, members of our society who had the misfortune to possess a brain which ended up at the negative end of a normal distribution should have our empathy. But does this exempt our society from its duty to protect all its members and to define what is tolerable and what is not?
No, pero sí que debería hacernos cambiar las justificaciones para la imposición de las penas.

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