Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Lessons for Corrections Sentencing?

I initially clicked on this story because it sounded like a good example of how people committed to one way of looking at the world could nevertheless be won over by solid evidence to the contrary, something which could give hope that light may one day dawn in corrections sentencing. But a couple of the "thinkers" whom they interviewed raised a couple of points about where the evidence is now in their fields that could raise serious problems for sentencing in the future if it becomes more and more clear that genetics could produce one gender more likely to congregate at either end of a bell-shaped curve, that is, to produce more outliers in behaviors (and it's not women who aren't in the "normal" range). More troubling are the findings that humans differ much more significantly genetically than previously believed, and those differences might actually aggregate at a level we would refer to as race or ethnicity. If the fundamental premise of our fight against disparity and for equal treatment under the law is that males and females, races and ethnicities, are all basically the same, what happens if science shows that they're not?

Seriously. What happens?

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