The NYT tells the story of Peter Braunstein, a media columnist for Women's Wear Daily, who is accused of molesting a woman for 13 hours:
As the trial opens today in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, jurors will be asked to decide whether he was a sadistic man preying on an unsuspecting woman or whether his actions were the result of mental illness.
The defense has conceded that he committed the crime, and is working on a risky defense that will combine traditional psychiatric testimony with the burgeoning field of “neurolaw,” which holds that there is a biological basis for behavior. [(italics added)]
That's sort of an odd way to put it. It's hard to doubt that there is a biological basis for behavior! The article continues:
Mr. Braunstein’s lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, has said he would show color images of his client’s brain, called positron emission tomography, or PET, scans, that he said show that Mr. Braunstein had undiagnosed and, until his arrest, untreated paranoid schizophrenia that drove him to behave as he did.
During jury selection last week, and in his court papers, Mr. Gottlieb said he planned to argue that Mr. Braunstein was so psychologically impaired that he could not form the intent to commit a crime. He has hinted that Mr. Braunstein’s attack on the woman was part of an elaborate fantasy over which he had little conscious control.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses. Meanwhile, you may be interested in this post at the BrainEthics blog about efforts to detect psychological disorders (in particular, OCD) using neuroimaging.