Chapter 7: Introduction to ethical issues
The previous chapters have discussed the current state of the science and the law in relation to genetic arguments, and whether the theoretical justifications for the criminal justice system need to be reexamined in light of this understanding. This chapter will move to the future, considering where this increasing scientific understanding and application in the courts might lead. Although some of the discussed scenarios might seem unrealistic (and indeed in some places, quotes from dystopian films and literature will be used to make a point), there is a grounding in reality in all of them. This chapter will consist of two parts. The first part will discuss the concept of compulsory genetic testing for Low MAOA. This is a concept that was raised in relation to XYY syndrome in the 1970s, and has recently begun to occur in discussions on genetic links to crime in relation to Low MAOA. The second part will discuss potential consequences of judges or juries continuing to accept a genetics argument, and of mandatory genetic testing for Low MAOA (or another gene with a potential link to antisocial behavior). This part will be written in the style of a legal Issues Paper. An Issues Paper is a document often provided by a Law Commission to highlight issues in a particular area of law that may be required to be addressed as part of any consideration of law reform. Utilizing this style of writing for this chapter has been chosen for two reasons.
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