State Supreme Court Says Secret Software Used In Sentencing Determinations Not A Violation Of Due Process Rights | Techdirt

An algorithm is deciding certain criminal defendants should spend more time in prison. And that determination can’t be fully challenged because the code belongs to a private company which provides the software to the government.Eric Loomis was determined to be a “high risk” defendant, based on something called a “COMPAS score.” COMPAS — Criminal Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions — cranks out Presentence Investigation Reports for use in the courtroom, utilizing a number of factors to generate a score that lets judges know how likely the defendant is to re-offend.The problems with this system are numerous. For one, the code is proprietary, so defendants aren’t allowed to examine the factors that lead to this determination, unlike other sentencing guidelines created by the government, which are open to the public to examine.Another problem is that the algorithm engages in demographic profiling — generally considered to be a bad thing when it comes to determining criminal behavior.

Source: State Supreme Court Says Secret Software Used In Sentencing Determinations Not A Violation Of Due Process Rights | Techdirt

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