Tue, Jun 25, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Book review: The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

Do criminals have different prefrontal cortexes? Do murderers have an unusually low pulse rate?

By Raymond Tallis  /  The Guardian

Exculpating criminals by medicalizing their crimes, replacing retribution by treatment, might not result in “a safer and more humane society.” While most of Raine’s medical remedies for violent criminals are fairly benign — sedatives, proper diet, parenting lessons and other early interventions — judges and juries might be persuaded by his arguments that more radical biological treatments are appropriate. Brain surgery, castration or indefinite preventative detention are other approaches consistent with his biological stance. Lombroso would have approved, but they have little appeal to the liberal mind.

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