In any trial in the justice system, the evidence that is in front of the judge or jury will be the determining factor in the outcome of the case. Advances in technology mean that court cases will involve new types of evidence that were never seen in the past. Here are some technologies that are changing the way that the justice system works.
Machine Learning & Prediction Algorithms
One of the major areas where artificial intelligence and algorithms affects the justice system is in allocation of police resources. Starting in the 1990s, police in major cities began to apply a method of statistical analysis to crime patterns in order to figure out where police officers should be positioned. Now based on statistics, certain neighborhoods will have heavier police presence at certain times. As for artificial intelligence, Emerj explains that, “police departments are using facial recognition to help establish whereabouts and identity of an individual for criminal cases.”
Millions of people are hurt by car accidents every year. However, it is often difficult to establish who was at fault in a car accident. According to Hinman Law Group, “insurance companies rely on people’s’ fear of attorneys or the courts to keep that money for themselves.” However, dash cams are helping drivers lose their fear of confronting the insurance companies since they can now be shown conclusive video of what happened during the car accident. Now, the insurance company does not simply have to take a driver’s word for what transpired.
Police Body Cameras
Now, what the police see as part of performing their job duties is increasingly being recorded. While a police officer’s testimony was largely enough to secure a conviction, the body camera footage can either corroborate or contradict their testimony. Under most circumstances, footage from the body camera is admissible in court as evidence. They can also serve as an evaluation of the officer’s conduct during the course of an arrest if it is called into question. Police officers may change the way that they arrest suspects knowing that their actions are being recorded.
According to RedShift, “drones are increasingly being used for police surveillance. They can be used before an arrest or operation to gather evidence.” This evidence can lay the basis for obtaining a search warrant. It can also be used in court to obtain a conviction of the defendant. Drones will serve as a force multiplier for police departments, giving them many extra sets of eyes without having to send an officer on patrol. Those breaking the law will never be able to have confidence that they can carry out activities without being watched by the police.
Advances in the technology behind databases facilitates information sharing between police departments. With a simple information check, a police officer can know someone’s criminal record and whether they have any outstanding warrants for their arrest. Computer technology now means that officers have this information at their fingerprints when they are on patrol and apprehend someone. In addition, there is greater information sharing between governmental and international law enforcement. After some high-profile failures where various law enforcement agencies were not talking to each other, efforts have been made to increase and enhance communication. More information is being tracked on databases and is shared between departments.
The criminal justice system has changed dramatically as the technology around it has changed. This has helped police departments become better at what they do since they have various instruments to aid them. Of course, an increase in technology means that criminal are better able to stay a step ahead so the new technology is needed.