Brains On Trial with Alan Alda
Determining Guilt (#101)
Full Program: Explore the conceivable effects of neuroscience on criminal law and courtroom procedure. 55:58
Full Program: Discover how neuroscience is influencing the sentencing of defendants. 55:59
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Series Description: The robbery of a convenience store goes horribly wrong and the suspect, newly 18-years-old, is now on trial for attempted murder. The case is fiction but the scenario is all too real. As the trial gets underway, Alan Alda speaks with both legal experts and scientists to determine if new developments in neuroscience could assist the criminal justice system. By visiting and participating in a dozen experiments, Alda gains insights into how and what the jurors, judges, witnesses and attorneys are thinking -- insights that may one day influence how the criminal justice system operates. At a time when the incarceration rate in the US is five times higher than most other nations, the question of whether insights from neuroscience can help reform our criminal justice system is critical.
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These episodes of Brains On Trial with Alan Alda aired in the last few months on Iowa Public Television.