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Beware the Biomarkers for Criminal Behavior


  • Kira Peikoff

  • Kira Peikoff, a Master's degree candidate in Bioethics at Columbia University, is the author of Living Proof (Tor 2012), a dystopian thriller about stem cell research.


As functional magnetic resonance imaging becomes more precise and the data more extensive, neuroscientists like Kent Kiehl are raising the possibility that such research might someday, together with existing clinical assessment tools, increase our ability to predict the likelihood that a given convict will commit another crime after getting out of prison. Such an advance would provoke challenging questions about our notions of liberty and personal autonomy, with potentially chilling ramifications.