Brain Dysfunction and Disability Benefits
Strommer v. N.Y. State & Local Police And Fire Ret. Sys., 2011 WL 240153 (N.Y. App. 2011)
A popular area for introducing cognitive neuroscience is to substantiate “invisible injuries” and claims in disability cases. In this case, the Petitioner (police officer) obtained disability retirement benefits because of the cognitive neurological effects he experienced from an off-duty head injury in a motor vehicle accident in 1989, while he was at the Police Academy. In 2004, Petitioner’s employer filed an application on behalf of petitioner for disability retirement benefits alleging that he was permanently disabled as a result of impaired judgment and impulsivity caused by severe head trauma sustained in the 1989 accident. The Comptroller approved the application. Petitioner’s application for accidental disability retirement benefits due to injuries sustained as a result of on-duty motor vehicle accidents was denied; the challenge to that determination was denied.
Brain Dysfunction and Capital Mitigation
Loyd v. State, 2011 WL 117660 (Ga. 2011)
Based on the empirical data that I have collected on 700 cases that I analyzed between 2004-2009, the introduction of cognitive neuroscience as mitigating evidence in a capital case has not fared well. In this case, too. Defendant was convicted on his pleas of guilty in of malice murder and related crimes, for which he was sentenced to death. Defendant appealed. During his original sentencing hearing, Defendant introduced evidence of a long-standing history of severe mental illness beginning with his hospitalization at the age of nine years; his diagnosis of bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, pedophilia, and polysubstance abuse and dependence. He also introduced evidence of his more recent diagnosis of frontal lobe personality disorder and organic personality disorder as the result of a closed head injury that he suffered in a truck and train collision in 1992. His death sentence was affirmed on appeal.