I recently revisited Steve Fleming's Aeon essay on the use of neuroscientific data in the determination of criminal culpability. It's a good primer on a few of the neuroethical considerations of the courtroom, and worth reading if you've ever thought about the weirdness of lie detection or free will or brain scans that may or may not hint at criminal guilt.
But today the essay popped into my head again because of the Hobby Lobby outcome. Corporate personhood is tricky business, but one thing is certain—when it comes to interpreting constitutional law, an fMRI scan of the Hobby Lobby corporate headquarters is about as useful as an fMRI scan of a dead salmon. For all the talk of neuroscience saving/destroying/revolutionizing the justice system, let's remember that we're talking about the criminal justice system. With respect to the constitution, we're still left in the hands of philosopher kings.
Responsibility does not entail a rational, choosing self that floats free from physical processes. That is a fiction. Even so, demonstrating a link between criminal behaviour and conscious (or unconscious) states of the brain changes the legal landscape. Consciousness is, after all, central to the legal definition of intent.