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Brains On Trial with Alan Alda

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Deciding Punishment

Jimmy Moran is found guilty of badly injuring a woman during a robbery. In the sentencing phase of the trial, Judge Rakoff hears arguments from the court-appointed psychiatrist, the attorneys, the victim's husband and Moran himself. Meanwhile, Alan Alda discovers how neuroscience is already influencing the sentencing of defendants - especially young defendants - by revealing how the immature teenage brain is vulnerable to foolish and impulsive acts. Before Judge Rakoff pronounces Moran's sentence, Alda meets a judge who has volunteered to have his own brain probed as he makes sentencing decisions. This episode focuses on the sentence phase of Moran's trial. We investigate Moran's brain and look into what factors could have played into pulling the trigger.

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