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Mikael Aizen is a full time author.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Study #2

...The evidence on one gene, known as MAO-A (monoamine oxidase A, an enzyme that breaks down chemicals in the brain), proved particularly persuasive for the judge: a growing body of work shows that the variant displayed by Bayout is correlated with violence, aggression and gang membership. Its persistent association with violence has even earned it a nickname among scientists: the warrior gene.

The Bayout trial is thought to be the first time that violent genes have been invoked to amend a sentence. It shows that, rather than being the stuff of some futuristic dystopia, the controversial field of behavioural genetics is having a dramatic effect in courtrooms today. And, further down the line, the complex interplay between genetics, race and crime is also likely to come into controversial focus...

-Anuja, Anjana.  "The Get Out of Jail Free Gene."  Times Online.  Nov 17, 2009, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/genetics/article6919130.ece

Here, we move from theory to practice.  This trial ruled that Bayout was the victim of "genetic misfortune."  He actually had his sentence REDUCED because of his genetics.  This is not a fictional article or a fictional case, a man's choice to murder was somewhat excused because of genetic propensity.  Is it arguable, let's say in a beating or a violent act trial, that we could completely excuse a person's actions based on their genetics?  Would this be fair?

1 comment:

Deborah Walker said...

Wow. This is incredible. Diminished responsibility because of your genes? It sounds like science fiction.