Law Office of John W. Noonan
925-400-6635 Call For A Free Initial Consultation Se Habla Español Available 24/7

Artificial intelligence: problematic in the criminal law sphere?

When the writer of a recent media piece focuses on "the implications of algorithmic risk assessments" in the criminal justice realm, he is addressing an issue that is immediately troubling and with real-world ramifications.

What most concerns Jason Tashea, the creator of a company that centrally addresses the linkage between technology and criminal law outcomes, is a fundamental point he made in the publication Wired earlier this month.

And that is this: Judges across the country, and certainly in California, are increasingly relying upon software that replicates human thinking to help them more quickly make decisions regarding matters such as flight risk and proper sentencing outcomes.

Indeed, ever-evolving algorithms that are perhaps the cornerstones in what is commonly referred to as "artificial intelligence" (AI) are growing progressively sophisticated. These networks of computer-based processes and formulas, notes Tashea, are "meant to act like the human brain [and] cannot be transparent because of their very nature."

That is, no judge -- or virtually any other person -- can reasonably discuss the "reasoning" that some AI algorithms engage in to reach conclusions that can spell the difference, say, between a criminal defendant receiving a probationary term versus a lengthy prison sentence, respectively.

The process by which an algorithm works (thinks) "is hidden and always changing," Tashea points out, which spikes the risk "of limiting a judge's ability to render a fully informed decision."

And that is troubling at a deep level, Wired asserts, because a loss of transparency undermines judicial oversight and can result in flatly flawed case outcomes.

Use of algorithms in important justice-related matters in the absence of true oversight regarding how they work "risks eroding the rule of law and diminishing individual rights," contends Tashea.

Should American courts "blindly allow the march of technology to go forward," queries Tashea, or should they call a time out and rethink their reliance on AI tools and take steps to better ensure that humans -- and not computer-driven processes -- are in control regarding algorithms?

As far as Wired is concerned, there is a clear answer to that: We need to pull back from a too-quick reliance on AI assists and fashion reasoned standards and rules for how state-of-the-art tech tools will be employed in the criminal justice administration.

And judges must fully understand the reasoning behind algorithm conclusions regarding important criminal law outcomes.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Recent Case Results

  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    John was able to get client a reduction of charge of a DUI because of being a nurse it could mean her license.

    He secured a Drunk in Public , and she would attend a 3 month program. Additionally, the dmv hearing was also set aside.

    Both being a win for the client.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    A client was arrested for a Felony Domestic Violence, could have devastated her potential for future employment. John was able to get the case dismissed. Client was thrilled.

    Read More
  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

    Read More
  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

    Read More
  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

    Read More
  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
Email Us For A Response

Learn How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Areas We Serve

Dublin Office
6379 Clark Avenue
Suite 250
Dublin, CA 94568

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 925-400-6635
Fax: 925-479-0015
Dublin Law Office Map

Manteca Office
210 East Center Street
Suite 10
Manteca, CA 95336

Toll Free: 800-785-9556
Phone: 209-498-3521
Fax: 925-479-0015
Manteca Law Office Map

Back To Top