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July 18, 2017

"Under the Cloak of Brain Science: Risk Assessments, Parole, and the Powerful Guise of Objectivity"

The title of this post is the title of this notable note by Jeremy Isard that was brought to my attention by a helpful reader. Here is the abstract:

This Note examines the adoption of two psychological risk assessment protocols used on “lifers” by the California Board of Parole Hearings in preparation for parole suitability hearings.  Probation and parole agencies employ risk assessment protocols across state and federal jurisdictions to measure the likelihood that an individual will pose a danger to society if released from prison.  By examining the adoption and recent reformulation of risk assessment protocols in California, this Note considers some of the myriad demands that courts and administrative agencies place on brain science.  Applying the California parole process as a parable of such pressures, this Note argues that brain science has a unique capacity to supersede legal inquiry itself, and thus should only be used in legal and administrative settings with extreme caution.  

July 18, 2017 at 10:39 AM | Permalink


Well, duh.

Atkins anyone, anyone?

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 18, 2017 12:35:18 PM

Rename. Under the cloak of lawyer total quackery, and the misuse of data, by the pro-criminal, biased lawyer.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 18, 2017 3:03:39 PM

Daniel made an excellent point, once. The most validated test in history is the IQ test. It was validated to predict school performance, and even job performance later in life. It was not validated to assess culpability.

That means that its use in the assessment of culpability has no scientific validity. It represents lawyer quackery.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 19, 2017 9:23:38 AM

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