(a) In Crime, culpability, and the adolescent brain, Beckman presents views on a controversial issue of the criminality of people under the age of 18 years. The issues presented at stake are that sentencing people less than eighteen years to death is brutal and strange. This is following the view argument that the brain of such people is not fully developed as that of an adult who is aware of a criminal activity. Different scientists and legal experts offer different opinions on the development of the teenage brain. However, despite the differing opinions on the issue, the fact is that the court is being informed to consider scientific information in making decisions, as well as acknowledge that adolescents function in fundamentally distinct ways than adults. In Recovered memories, Davis and Loftus also tackle another controversial issue not only in the mental health profession, as well as in courts today. The article reviews evidence relating to the existence of repression and recovery. The article argues that there is contradictory evidence favoring the existence of recovered memories. The article holds that there is no doubt traumatic experiences can be forgotten and later remembered. The issue of sentencing the people under the age of 18 has been contested over the years with the society favoring the rehabilitation of these people who are considered children. The argument that they brain is still developing and it’s not fully developed is an issue contested by the scientists given that not all teenagers engage in the criminal activities. Thus, those who carry criminal acts should be punished and at the same time be rehabilitated.
(b) In Crime, culpability, and the adolescent brain raisesthe issue of relevance of the adolescent brain development in criminal court, a concern addressed by Laurence Steinberg in Adolescent development and juvenile justice. In this article, Steinberg argues that despite the fact that the justice system should not only be guided only studies of adolescent development, the ways in which courts respond to adolescent offending should be up to date with the lessons of developmental science (Steinberg, 2009). In Recovered memories, Davis and Loftus raise a different issue of the use of neuroscience in the courtrooms. Such a concern is addressed by Dominique Church in Neuroscience in the courtroom: An international concern. Church argues that there is no consensus among legal scholars regarding neuroscience evidence use in courts (Church, 2012). It also holds that the use of such evidence should be in tandem with the human rights perspective. I concur with what Steinberg and Church state as it is important to consider the issue of adolescent development in according justice to juveniles. In addition, courts should use neuroscience cautiously as it raises some legal and ethical issue that need to be addressed.
(c) These two articles raise serious scientific issues whose use in criminal justice system has raised controversies. One of them is the use of false memory therapy methods. A scientific technique that can be used to scrutinize this issue is the use of experiments in which a traumatized patient undergoes therapeutic process. Although there is no ethical issue that comes from the application of this method, the use of information remembered by a person who undergoes the therapeutic process in court raises a concern among legal scholars. A method that can be use to study adolescent development and criminal culpability is by conducting an experiment whereby the brain of the teen is scanned using techniques such as MRI.
(d) The article concerning the culpability argues that courts should be considerate when addressing issues of juvenile justice. However, the American Bar Association in Adolescent, brain development and legal culpability argues that the discovery that juveniles are less culpable does not excuse them from punishment for their violent behavior, but should only be used to lessen their culpability (American Bar Association, 2004). This does not make them blameless of their actions.