Genetics and criminal responsibility

Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Sep;15(9):378-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.06.009. Epub 2011 Jul 19.


Some believe that genetics threatens privacy and autonomy and will eviscerate the concept of human nature. Despite the astonishing research advances, however, none of these dire predictions and no radical transformation of the law have occurred. Advocates have tried to use genetic evidence to affect judgments of criminal responsibility. At present, however genetic research can provide little aid to assessments of criminal responsibility and it does not suggest a radical critique of responsibility.

MeSH terms

  • Criminals*
  • Genetic Research*
  • Humans
  • Social Responsibility*