- Published: November 30, 1999
Even though an expert committee, headed by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience Director D. Nagaraja, recommended against the use of the BEOS test as evidence in court, the state of Maharashtra went ahead with their conviction of the accused, Aditi Sharma. As I first read about the case in an article from the Times of India, I found myself easily persuaded by the use of the technology as a way to convict criminals. However, as I read on and thought more into the issue, I wonder how we could convict someone of a crime based mainly off a technology that has been proven to misdiagnosis someone five out of a hundred times. Though a relatively small error rate, it still means that at least 5% of our convictions could undeservedly send someone to jail.
In my opinion, courts should wait for more international scientific-backing before they use BEOS tests as evidence. To me, it seems unreasonable to be using evidence based off our brains when we barely even have a foothold towards understanding such a complex system. Looking at this case in India, it seems to me that nowadays, neuroscientists are being pressured further to say more than they are able to. Perhaps, the situation in India is a prime example.