As I was riding my bike back home, after an intense day, a smash of thoughts hit me right on the forehead; and no, I was not wearing my helmet. Completely changed, my decision making process switched from thinking about a big margarita pizza to why the legal system is able to judge a person as an adult, when they are 18 years old or younger. Well, for me, this does not make any sense at all.
This seems even more unreasonable when all the technology available nowadays allow us to understand that by 25 years old of age, various parts of the brain that are involved in the decision making process are fully developed. Knowing this, it is difficult to comprehend why does the legal system want to go against human nature. It is true that not all kids develop at the same rate, but it is also not true that all people should be equally punished by something that they did when they were not biologically prepared to understand or fully distinguish from what is “good” and what is “bad”.
As one starts to dig deeper, into the most complicated piece of equipment that the human being caries, one will be able to find that everything in human nature is connected in some way. For example, the average fertility age in women is 12, by this age their mother should be, at least, 24 years old, almost at the optimum mature level of the frontal lobes of the brain. This means that by the time that these kids are able to get pregnant, there mother’s brain should be capable to understand what is “good” and what is “bad” for their children. Simply put, they are the ones that are prepared to make the important decisions. This is one of the reasons by which I think that people that might be considered as candidates to respond to the legal system are the people that have fully developed brain, perhaps the parents of this naïve creatures.
As the neuroscience field continues to shine the blurry lens of the scope by which the legal system is looking the composition and biology of the brain, new neuroimaging technology keep surging. With this kind of technology neuroscientists will able to demonstrate, in a more visual and perhaps digestible way, the behavioral nature of humans. However, the law community should work together with neuroscientist, in order to understand, or try to assimilate the biological basis of human behaviors. This knowledge might help them to comprehend why it is not healthy to “reform” all kind of criminals with the same type of punishments, or perhaps, why it is not healthy to punish someone who’s brain is not fully developed. Customized rehabilitation?