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Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, May 2, 2005

Computer Predicts Death Penalty With 90% Accuracy Based on Non-Legal Factors

From the ACS Blog:  "The Christian Science Monitor reports that a computer program designed by a team of criminologists and computer scientists is able to predict the outcome of death penalty cases with better than 90% accuracy. The program considers no law or legally significant facts in making its assessment, instead basing its analysis entirely on factors such as age, race, sex, and marital status of the offender and the date and type of offense.

The implication, says Dee Wood Harper, one of the researchers and a professor of criminal justice at Loyola University in New Orleans, is that "if this mindless software can determine who is going to die and who is not going to die, then there's some arbitrariness here in the [United States justice] system.""  [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2005/05/computer_predic.html

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