A prominent body of literature indicates that insanity evaluations, which are intended to provide influential expert reports for judges to reach a decision “beyond any reasonable doubt,” suffer from a low inter-rater reliability. This paper reviews the limitations of the classical approach to insanity evaluation and the criticisms to the introduction of neuro-scientific approach in court. Here, we explain why in our opinion these criticisms, that seriously hamper the translational implementation of neuroscience into the forensic setting, do not survive scientific scrutiny. Moreover, we discuss how the neuro-scientific multimodal approach may improve the inter-rater reliability in insanity evaluation. Critically, neuroscience does not aim to introduce a brain-based concept of insanity. Indeed, criteria for responsibility and insanity are and should remain clinical. Rather, following the falsificationist approach and the convergence of evidence principle, the neuro-scientific multimodal approach is being proposed as a way to improve reliability of insanity evaluation and to mitigate the influence of cognitive biases on the formulation of insanity opinions, with the final aim to reduce errors and controversies.

Translational Application of a Neuro-Scientific Multi-Modal Approach Into Forensic Psychiatric Evaluation: Why and How?

I. Zampieri;P. Pietrini
2021

Abstract

A prominent body of literature indicates that insanity evaluations, which are intended to provide influential expert reports for judges to reach a decision “beyond any reasonable doubt,” suffer from a low inter-rater reliability. This paper reviews the limitations of the classical approach to insanity evaluation and the criticisms to the introduction of neuro-scientific approach in court. Here, we explain why in our opinion these criticisms, that seriously hamper the translational implementation of neuroscience into the forensic setting, do not survive scientific scrutiny. Moreover, we discuss how the neuro-scientific multimodal approach may improve the inter-rater reliability in insanity evaluation. Critically, neuroscience does not aim to introduce a brain-based concept of insanity. Indeed, criteria for responsibility and insanity are and should remain clinical. Rather, following the falsificationist approach and the convergence of evidence principle, the neuro-scientific multimodal approach is being proposed as a way to improve reliability of insanity evaluation and to mitigate the influence of cognitive biases on the formulation of insanity opinions, with the final aim to reduce errors and controversies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/17497
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