The robust neuroimaging debate has dealt mostly with philosophical questions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between brain abnormalities, violence and crime. This debate, however, obscures several important issues of criminal procedure to which little attention has as of yet been paid: 1) an indigent defendant's right of access to expert testimony in cases where neuroimaging tests might be critical, 2) a defendant's competency to consent to the imposition of a neuroimaging test; and 3) the impact of antipsychotic medications on a defendant's brain at the time that such a test is performed. This article will consider these questions from the perspectives of both law and neuropsychology, and, from a clinical perspective, will also focus on 1) identifying cases appropriate for referrals for neuroimaging studies, including preliminary testing based on neuropsychological assessment; 2) understanding the importance of brain impairment as relates to criminality and violence; 3) establishing criteria for determining competency to consent to such tests, and 4) the potential impact of medications on brain .functioning when neuroimaging tests are conducted.
8 AM. J. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY 5 (2010)