When will QEEG Brain Mapping Get Widespread Respect in Courtroom?

 This week, the Miami Herald ran an article discussing the current state of QEEG technology as a means to study the human brain and understand how the brain works and how it can be permanently damaged.  

However, the article was more than a dry discussion of scientific methodology.  Reporter David Ovalle wrote about how QEEG brain mapping was successfully presented by Terry Lenamon in the Grady Nelson death penalty trial, having been approved for use by the jury by the Honorable Jacqueline Hogan-Scola.

You can read the article, "Use of controversial ‘brain-mapping’ technology stymied in Florida courts," online for free at the Miami Herald web site.  

Here's the thing:  QEEG brain mapping is still controversial and prosecutors are still fighting hard against its admission by death penalty defense attorneys who are wanting to use the brain mapping technique in mitigation evidence.  

While Terry Lenamon was successful in getting the brain mapping of Grady Nelson as a factor for consideration in his trial, other defendants have not been able to use QEEG in their trials.

Meanwhile, QEEG brain mapping continues to garner respect in the medical community.  Consider this video (it's long, almost an hour - be forwarned here!) where Retired Brigadier General Dr. Stephen Xenakis discusses uses of QEEG brain mapping in the treatment of several conditions suffered by post-combat servicepersons.

Report Released on Judge Who Had Private Communications with Prosecutor During Death Penalty Trial: Result, Suspension

The Report has been released in the disciplinary proceeding involving former Broward County, Florida judge Ana Gardiner (see our earlier post for details) and you can read the report in its entirety at Terry Lenamon's Online Library.  

Here's a key paragraph from the Report, which results in a recommendation that the former trial judge receive a one year suspension of her Florida law license: 

The Respondent's failure to disclose her social encounter with the
prosecutor, the significant emotional relationship that developed during the
pendency of the trial, and her extensive telephone and text message
communications tainted the entire legal process. The Respondent's argument that
there were no discussions about the trial, only an appearance of impropriety and no
reversible error in the trial misses the point. Due process embodies the
fundamental concept of fairness, and "especially in a death penalty case, [the
proceedings] must both be and appear to be fundamentally fair. Steinhorst v. State,
636 So.2d 498, 501 (Fla. 1994). [Emphasis supplied.] The public's perception of
fairness and impartiality of the judiciary is the bedrock of our legal system.

 

Repeal of Death Penalty in Maryland - Will It Happen This Week? Media Reports That It's Getting Close

Up in Maryland, there are some folk who are fierce in their efforts to get the Maryland death penalty statute overturned this year.  Today, news reports out of Baltimore are that their efforts have brought things down to one, single vote needed to get their proposal through the state senate.  

Then, things will move to a floor vote.  What if the law passes?

Well, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is ready for it.  He's been against capital punishment for a long time, and he's been a force in getting things to this juncture.  

If the state legislature opts to repeal the Maryland death penalty statute, this is one governor who will not do anything to keep that repeal from going forward.  He'll celebrate it as a victory.  

Is the repeal being driven by dollars and cents?  

To some extent, apparently.  Whatever the reasons, odds are high that capital punishment will soon be no more in the State of Maryland.  

Image:  Maryland Governor O'Malley, who has been quoted as believing the Maryland death penalty is "a waste of money" and "ineffective."  

 

New York Times Begins New Year With Editorial Against the Death Penalty

The New York Times began 2013 with an editorial published today that details the reasons for its public stance against capital punishment in America.  

You can read the editorial here. 

 

 

 
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