Behavioral genetics and criminal responsibility at the courtroom

Roberto Tatarelli, Antonio Del Casale, Caterina Tatarelli, Daniele Serata, Chiara Rapinesi, Gabriele Sani, Georgios D. Kotzalidis, Paolo Girardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several questions arise from the recent use of behavioral genetic research data in the courtroom. Ethical issues concerning the influence of biological factors on human free will, must be considered when specific gene patterns are advocated to constrain court's judgment, especially regarding violent crimes. Aggression genetics studies are both difficult to interpret and inconsistent, hence, in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis, genetic data are currently difficult to prioritize in the courtroom. The judge's probabilistic considerations in formulating a sentence must take into account causality, and the latter cannot be currently ensured by genetic data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Criminal responsibility
  • Genetics
  • Liability
  • Sentence
  • Violent crimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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