Recent research is revealing the way the mind works. It is comforting to picture ourselves as conscious creatures in control of our actions. The reality is that the conscious mind usually only engages after a decision has been made. Subconscious processes, maybe working in unison, maybe just a chaotic mob, make a decision, sends the body the signals to act, and then the conscious mind makes sense of it all – or tries. As we learn more about the process, we can be less certain of who is in control. As we learn more about the process, we eventually will question and possibly change societal norms, expectations, and rituals. The criminal justice system is a likely place for change. The shift in perception is so fundamental, though, that the change will likely take much longer to affect considering ingrained public perspectives.
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