Can AI Be Used as Evidence in Mississippi Criminal Trials?

Both defendants and prosecutors can call upon witnesses to testify during criminal trials – but what happens if that witness is an artificial intelligence rather than a human being? One might argue that AIs are inherently more reliable witnesses, and they are not subject to factors like bias or faulty memories. On the other hand, you might argue that AIs are fully capable of making mistakes, misinterpreting facts, and generally providing unreliable information. Whatever the case may be, prosecutors and authorities are already beginning to rely on AI for law enforcement purposes. How does this affect Mississippi residents?

The Authorities are Already Using AI to Pursue Suspects

The truth is that the use of AI in law enforcement is not a “theory” – it is already being used in states like Mississippi. There is a wide range of AI tools currently being used by law enforcement officials throughout the nation. 

One example is “iDter,” a surveillance company that uses AI to identify trespassers and deter vandalism. The AI is capable of not only recording the alleged trespassers but also instantly notifying 9-1-1 operators of the apparent crime. The fact that an AI is now capable of calling the police on average people is alarming to many, especially given the fact that the software could mistake law-abiding citizens for trespassers. 

Another example is “i-PRO,” a surveillance company that specializes in dome cameras. These cameras use AI analytics to look inside vehicles and make instant determinations about the number of occupants, the type of vehicle, and much more. The company uses words like “deep forensic search” and “scene change detection” when describing its AI software. The definition of these terms may be somewhat unclear, but the end result is that these “analytics insights” will undoubtedly be provided to the authorities. 

Omnilert” uses AI software to detect the presence of firearms using AI technology. This “visual gun detection” software apparently allows surveillance cameras to instantly determine whether a suspect is carrying a weapon. The tool is supposed to give onsite security operators the information they need to “prevent catastrophic active shooter incidents.” It is unclear how reliable this software really is, and whether it might actually cause innocent people to come under fire because of a simple software error. 

Another big name in the AI security world is Rekor – a company that has been generating tons of buzz thanks to a number of high-profile arrests. In one instance, Rekor’s security cameras analyzed someone’s driving habits and concluded that they were most likely a drug dealer. Police then moved in, pulled him over, and searched his car. The AI was correct – and police recovered a firearm and a quantity of drugs. But is this type of search even constitutional? What happens when police can use AI software to justify the arrest and search of virtually any driver they want? Note that this driver was not speeding or committing any traffic offenses – the only reason for his arrest was that his zig-zagging pattern across town was consistent with the path of an average drug dealer (according to the AI). 

Is AI Evidence Even Admissible in Court?

The Otto Hahn Research Group on Alternative Criminal Justice concludes that AI is “improperly afforded the assumption of reliability, objectivity, and certainty.” The research group also argues that “Data-driven surveillance challenges the very foundations of the presumption of innocence by suggesting precognition of criminal intent.” They conclude by calling the use of AI in court a “risky venture.” 

But is AI actually admissible in criminal courts? There are a few examples of criminal trials that have accepted AI evidence. Prosecutors and defendants are free to attempt to introduce all kinds of evidence, and it is up to the judge whether this evidence will be accepted. It is clear that we will see more evidence of this type appearing in criminal cases. That being said, if it is obvious that AI evidence is unreliable, police are likely to dismiss charges before going to trial. This often occurs only after innocent suspects have had their lives irrevocably altered due to unreliable AI “evidence.” 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Mississippi?

If you have been searching for a qualified criminal defense attorney in Mississippi, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We are well aware of the recent changes in criminal law, especially in the context of AI. If you want to pursue positive results, you must be aware of how new technology might affect your case.

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