Earlier this month, a trial that oppose a woman and her employer become news because the plaintiff’s attorney decided to submit a fMRI scan as evidence. The idea was to use the brain scan as evidence that one of the witnesses was telling the truth. However the judge decided to exclude the brain scan, and the jury decided for the defense. It’s interesting that while the jury decided not to trust the said witness testimony, the fMRI scan – delivered by Cephos – showed that he was telling the truth, at least according to the reading of the scan made by the company.
A rather interesting note was the arguments put forth by the defense in order to dismiss the evidence. Rather than attack the accuracy of the fMRI scan, they chose to highlight the fact that this kind of decision should be taken by humans and not by technology:
Cortes successfully argued in pretrial motions that the fMRI evidence should be excluded because it was the fundamental right of juries, not machines, to determine the credibility of witnesses, regardless of their respective accuracy.
When you think of it, it was a smart move from their part. Stressing the fact that this kind of technology takes something away from humans was a good way to attack brain scans without putting in question its reliability, something that could easily misfired.
You can read more about this case in Wired.