Does 'Precrime' Mesh with the Ideals of U.S. Justice? Implications for the Future of Predictive Policing

48 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016

See all articles by Jackson Polansky

Jackson Polansky

Arizona State University (ASU)

Henry Fradella

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: August 30, 2016

Abstract

Both the short story and film Minority Report are premised on a Precrime unit that relies on the psychic abilities of human mutants who can predict the commission of crimes before they occur. Advances in technology suggest that the science fiction depicted in Minority Report may one day become a reality. This paper summarizes the ways in which the criminal justice system currently derives crime predictions and extrapolates from these methods how technology might one day allow police to intervene before crimes are committed with great regularity and accuracy. The paper contemplates how an actual precrime system would struggle to fit into the framework of inchoate crimes as they are currently defined, but might fit into a system of preventative detention that is not dramatically inconsistent with the approaches currently used in the United States. The implications for current conceptualizations of constitutional rights, including contemporary notions of privacy, are discussed.

Keywords: Precrime, Fourth Amendment, Predictive Policing, Law and Literature

Suggested Citation

Polansky, Jackson and Fradella, Henry, Does 'Precrime' Mesh with the Ideals of U.S. Justice? Implications for the Future of Predictive Policing (August 30, 2016). Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2832365

Jackson Polansky

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Henry Fradella (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

411 North Central Avenue, Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0685
United States

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