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Could AI inspire more reasons to seek post-conviction relief?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Federal Appeals

There is no question that AI is changing American life. From the ways that Hollywood storyboards new ideas to the ways that high school literature students outline their papers, AI’s influence is creeping into virtually all electronic means of research, content generation and communication. 

While there are many applications of AI that are undoubtedly beneficial, it is becoming increasingly clear that many are potentially harmful and that some are downright dangerous. Take, for example, facial recognition technology and AI-generated conclusions drawn from such software. While harmless in some contexts, in others, it can lead to the imprisonment of innocent people. 

What is going on?

According to the widely-respected Innocence Project, there are now “at least seven confirmed cases of misidentification due to facial recognition technology, six of which involve Black people who have been wrongfully accused.” This means that in the few short years since AI technology of this kind has become widely available to law enforcement, more than half a dozen lives – and their lives of their loved ones, their communities and the victims of the crimes for which the misidentified had been wrongly accused – have been dramatically affected by misinformation.

At the speed with which AI is spreading, it is not unreasonable to assume that this is far from the last instance in which the criminal justice system will be faced with the reality that this technology is far from infallible. And, as a result of wrongful accusations and possible wrongful convictions, it is also not unreasonable to assume that AI-related evidence will lead to more opportunities for post-conviction relief.