As technology generally continues to advance, one thing you can be sure of is the criminal justice system’s use of innovative new “tools” will grow exponentially. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a very dangerous thing. Pennsylvania’s new law that permits the use of data showing whether people are “deemed likely to commit additional crimes” in criminal sentencing, is a perfect example of how an over reliance on technology can be a threat to liberty and due process.
Rather than explaining my position on the matter right here, I think it best to make my points within excerpts from the article itself. From Five Thirty Eight:
Criminal sentencing has long been based on the present crime and, sometimes, the defendant’s past criminal record. In Pennsylvania, judges could soon consider a new dimension: the future.