Feeds

21st Century justice: guilty, says PC

What a great idea (Run, I tell you! And keep running!)

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Oh my god, all those cheesy 70s sci-fi TV series were right. The first brick has been laid in what may become a computerised legal system. As with all terrible ideas, it is with efficiency in mind that a Brazilian judge has created the Electronic Judge - a Visual Basic program that decides whether someone is guilty and how big the fine/ jail sentence(!) should be. Installed on a laptop, installed on a wandering judge, the software assesses incidents from witness reports and forensic evidence and then comes to a swift conclusion, printing out a reasoning in tandem. Yes, it really is that scary. Brazil's legal system is completely overloaded (something that won't come as a surprise if you've ever been there), and so Judge Pedro Valls Feu Rosa whipped up the program to deal with "straightforward" cases. Following an incident, a rapid-response justice team (we're not making this up) can be on the scene in ten minutes. The program offers multiple-choice questions like: "Did the driver stop at the red light?" A couple of these later and the verdict is returned. Of course, the human judge can override the judgment if he/she so decides. Now you have to wonder what possible use this program has when attached to an actual judge. Judges are either supremely incompetent, or the intention is to dish this laptop out to jobsworths in the police. We don't know whether the thought of a policeman pulling you over, asking a few questions, taping them into a laptop and then informing you you're off to jail for three years, is a little scary to you, but this is the first time The Register has agreed with the survivalists camped out in Oregon in their nuclear shelters. The same system has been running in neighbouring country Argentina for a few years with the Buenos Aires police. Except they don't use computers. There they call it endemic corruption. Apart from the fact that the Brazilians have completely forgotten one of the main understandings of any legal system - that people lie when faced with fines and jail - we were disturbed to find that the UK and US think this might be a good idea. A spokesman for the Lord Chancellor told the BBC that the system "would have to satisfy the authorities that it was absolutely foolproof" before being implemented. No shit. We'd have preferred the response: "Don't be ridiculous." And Judge Rosa said that he was actually in discussions with insurance companies in the US over a similar system. Can you imagine what would happen if one of these machines was allowed near the US civil prosecution laws? Didn't the world make more sense before these computational machines? ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.