New Neuroscience, Old Legal Problems: The Case of Juvenile Responsibility

Prof. Stephen J. Morse, JD, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Thursday, February 1, 2007 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Theater, Coffman Memorial Union

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This lecture addressed the legal implications of neuroscientific advances that have been fueled by the revolution in imaging technology.  Prof. Morse suggested that, although the technology is new, the challenges it presents are often overstated and always familiar. With existing legal, moral, and political resources adequate to respond, Prof. Morse discussed juvenile responsibility and used as a case study the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 decision abolishing the death penalty for juveniles, Roper v. Simmons.

Read the related article from the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology.

The Deinard Memorial Lecture on Law & Medicine is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences and the Center for Bioethics.

Support for the series comes from the law firm of Leonard Street and Deinard and the Deinard family.

Continuing legal education credits (CLE) for attorneys (1.5 hours) have been approved.

The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit was approved. 

All participating faculty, course directors, and planning committee members are required to disclose to the program audience any financial relationships related to the subject matter of this program. Disclosure information is reviewed in advance in order to manage and resolve any possible conflicts of interest.

Prof. Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse, JD, PhD, is the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is an expert in criminal and mental health law, whose work emphasizes individual responsibility in criminal and civil law and the relation of the behavioral and neurosciences to responsibility and social control.

Dr. Morse is the author of Foundations of Criminal Law (with Leo Katz and Michael S. Moore) and Protecting Liberty and Autonomy: Desert/Disease Jurisprudence. He is a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology; a past president of the American Psychology-Law Society of the American Psychological Association; a recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology's Distinguished Contribution Award; a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and Law from 1988-1996; a founding director of the Neuroethics Society; and a trustee of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining the Penn faculty in 1988, Morse was the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California. He has served as a Visiting Professor at a number of institutions, including the California Institute of Technology (Law and Social Science), Cardozo School of Law, Georgetown Law Center, and University of Virginia School of Law. He received his JD and PhD from Harvard University.