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Petrie-Flom Center | Laurence Steinberg PhD on adolescent brain development and legal policy

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Published on Nov 17, 2015

Drawing on findings from a 20-year program of work on adolescent decision making and risk taking, Laurence Steinberg, PhD discussed the United States Supreme Court’s rationale in three cases during the past decade that involved the criminal culpability of juveniles, and the role that scientific evidence about adolescent brain development played in its decisions. He concluded that in discussions of adolescents’ treatment under criminal law, juveniles’ greater amenability to rehabilitation is more important than their diminished culpability. Moreover, he argued that neuroscientific evidence should supplement, rather than supplant, findings from behavioral science.

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