Mens Rea And Behavioural Genetics Evidence: Relevance And Limits In Criminal Trials
Practically in many a cases law does not look into the act committed in isolation as it takes into consideration the intent behind the act committed. This fact brings us to the conclusion that a certain behaviour committed by a certain person in a certain situation carries high relevancy. Law is a discipline which heavily relies on its interpretation. So, three main questions to be dealt with here are whether a behaviour which has no backing of any medical abnormality can be a decisive factor in ascertaining the guilt of an accused. Second, if the answer of first question is negative then whether human behaviour genetics would have its limitations to the extent of the legislative intent, or it may still go much beyond that. Lastly, the future of behavioural genetics in criminal courts. Neuroscience research may be a two-edged weapon, since it appears to contribute to sentencing mitigation rather than aggravation more often than not. There is no general response to the issue of if the use of neuroscientific and genomic testing in criminal prosecutions is a two-edged weapon. Rather, the response is heavily influenced by the criminal justice system in place. Courts who reject behavioural genetic evidence because it conflicts with their philosophy of criminal liability seem to be conflating the criteria in conjunction with other criminal justice doctrines for mitigation facts. In addition, the form of criminal justice system has a likely bearing of biological evidence's effect on sentencing. Since the positions of specialist and lay judges vary in various structures, and thereof neuroscientific research probably has a different impact on the two classes of judges. As a result, it's important to differentiate between the findings of studies that looked into the impact of sentencing based on the biological evidence of skilled judges versus the sentencing of potential lay judges. The future of behavioural genetics in criminal courts is uncertain. The matter is whether human behaviour genetics would have its limitations to the extent of the legislative intent.
Keywords - Behavioural Genetics, Mens rea, Criminal law.