Gelukkig is 1 zo'n vonnis nog geen garantie dat dit vanaf nu schering en inslag zal worden.
uit: een lichtere straf voor moord omwille van 'slechte genen' (Nature News)
An Italian court has cut the sentence given to a convicted murderer by a year because he has genes linked to violent behaviour — the first time that behavioural genetics has affected a sentence passed by a European court. But researchers contacted by Nature have questioned whether the decision was based on sound science.
a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Padova, conducted a series of tests and found abnormalities in brain-imaging scans and in five genes that have been linked to violent behaviour — including the gene encoding the neurotransmitter-metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA). A 2002 study led by Terrie Moffitt, a geneticist at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, had found low levels of MAOA expression to be associated with aggressiveness and criminal conduct of young boys raised in abusive environments.
Since the 1994 Stephen Mobley case in the United States — the first case in the world in which the defence asked to have their client tested for MAOA deficiency — lawyers have increasingly been trying to bring MAOA deficits and similar genetic evidence into courtrooms worldwide. According to Farahany, who updates a personal database on sentences passed in the United States, in the past five years there have been at least 200 cases where lawyers have attempted to use genetic evidence to support the idea their clients' were predisposed to violent behaviour, depression or drug or alcohol abuse. In Britain, there have been at least 20 such cases in the past five years.
Some fear that such cases could lead to the acceptance of genetic determinism — the idea that genes determine the behaviour of an organism — in criminal cases.
"90% of all murders are committed by people with a Y chromosome — males. Should we always give males a shorter sentence?" says Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College London. "I have low MAOA activity but I don't go around attacking people."
Farahany points out that prosecutors could use the same genetic evidence to argue for tougher sentences by suggesting people with such genes are inherently 'bad'.
"The question is where do you stop," Jones adds