Part One: Introduction
Facial recognition technology is a topical issue that initiates heated conversations among individuals because of the multiple vulnerabilities, which expose people to unprecedented risks and threats. Over the years, law enforcement agencies have embraced emerging technological innovations in their policing efforts to achieve desirable efforts that protect and safeguard the wellbeing of individuals in their surroundings (Ringrose, 2019). However, concerns have emerged regarding the inability of the technological innovation to solve serious crimes, which have had an adverse impact on the lifestyles of individuals in their surroundings. Considering the nature of approaches people can use to achieve desired outcomes, there is a need to focus on certain aspects that uphold the elementary rights entitled to citizens in their immediate environment. From this realization, the integrity of law enforcement agencies is guaranteed by their ability to uphold the due process during arrests because of its ability to respect offenders’ rights and other freedoms entitled to citizens in their surroundings.
Incorporating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the criminal justice system does not only yield favorable outcomes but also expose individuals to an environment where they can experience a faster response to underlying issues affecting their overall wellbeing. When law enforcement agents arrest suspects and offenders in the act, ICT innovations such as facial recognition technology can help reveal their identity, a move that expedites the criminal justice process. However, the due process is often overlooked because of the inability of the arraigning officers to subject the offenders to an environment where they benefit from the numerous rights enshrined in the Constitution.
In the U.S. court system, any ICT-related findings are thoroughly analyzed to eliminate any iota of doubt that may interfere with the overall thought process of individuals in their surroundings. However, facial recognition technology results are not measured alongside this standard, a move that is likely to interfere with the nature of decisions made in the justice system. The lack of quantitative analysis on the results generated by facial recognition technology undermines the much-needed credibility that allows stakeholders in the justice system to accomplish desired milestones.
When Allen Lynch was arrested on the grounds of cocaine possession worth $50, the facial recognition system had generated numerous results, which the police used to pin him down. In his submission, Lynch maintained that the system had misidentified him, allowing the actual perpetrators to escape scot-free (Conger, Fausset, & Kovaleski, 2019). From this realization, the decision of the court to overrule Lynch’s plight demonstrates the impact of facial recognition software on the criminal justice system. Despite its limited success in solving crimes in the U.S., the decision by the justice system to utilize ICT in solving various criminal cases undermines its role in the developed nation.
Police officers are expected to conduct intensive investigations to eliminate any misinformation that interferes with the credibility of the criminal justice system. Notably, the integration of ICT in the justice system has not only enabled law enforcement agencies to make informed decisions but also embrace a different perspective that enables individuals to benefit from the swift response to criminal activities in their surroundings. However, innovations such as facial recognition technology bypass the due process where they fail to acknowledge the different rights entitled to individuals at the moment of arrest. While due process creates a balance, which upholds the law and the citizens, ICT inventions interfere with the provisions outlined in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments.
Part Two: Defending my Client’s Rights
I believe facial recognition software should be used as a complimentary law enforcement approach that enables police officers to trace suspects and expedite the criminal justice process. However, many law enforcement agencies use the innovative technique as the only method of investigation, a move that undermines the rights of individuals enshrined in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments. Importantly, the Fifth Amendment protests individuals against self-incrimination, which can be used by prosecutors to solve the case (Naker & Greenbaum, 2017). Likewise, the Fourteenth Amendment covers a range of issues, which include the due process where suspects can be denied access to life, liberty, and property. However, examining the functional aspect of the face recognition technology denies individuals the right to either of the two amendments, presenting a loophole that can be exploited by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, to pursue their desired goals. Therefore, creating a balance where technological interventions and the law can function efficiently is highly effective to facilitate smooth interactions, which improve outcomes in the criminal justice system.
The U.S. criminal justice system should establish the best approaches that law enforcements can use to successfully integrate technology in its operational performance. Since the results of facial recognition technology are inadmissible in a court of law, the justice system should develop a guideline that dictates the approaches taken by law enforcement agencies to accomplish their desired goals and objectives. Upholding the rule of law and due process when making arrests is critical to the realization of desired outcomes, which protect individuals from any exploitative approaches is essential (Ahmed et al., 2018). For instance, my client’s rights were violated when he was wrongfully arrested after a case of misidentification facilitated by the facial recognition software. Given the nature of the law enforcement agencies to dwell on the misleading findings generated by the facial recognition technology, there is a need to observe the nature of approaches that should be used to incorporate a set of appropriate measures that uphold the due process and the rule of law.
Reinforces Bias Against People of Color
The facial recognition software reinforces bias against the Black Community and hinders the law enforcement agencies from following the due process during arrests. Importantly, the ICT approach is often misused by police officers when arresting black people, limiting the agencies from upholding the rule of law (Thielman, 2020). The differential treatment adopted by police officers when arresting black people sets the stage for potential misuse where individuals can be exposed to racial and biased commentary, which hinders them from benefitting the multiple privileges enshrined in the constitution. For example, my client is a person of color and was racially discriminated by police officers when he was arrested. The description used in the facial recognition software portrays my client as a black suspect, instead of using other insensitive features that acknowledge the identity of different population groups in the dominant context. Facial recognition can easily be weaponized by law enforcement agencies when policing marginalized communities, escalating the tensed relations between the police and minority population groups in the country (Sebastian, 2020). For this reason, facial recognition technology should be reviewed to avoid subjecting minority population groups to conflicting scenarios with the police and other law enforcement agencies.
Part Three: Conclusion
Events leading to the arrest of my client sideline any aspect of resistance, as he was cooperating with the police officers and even providing additional information that could lead to the arrest of the original suspect. Given the rise of police brutality on African Americans in the U.S., my client values the aspect of complying with instructional guidelines from the police because of their significant impact on the nature of outcomes in his immediate environment. However, the overzealous nature of the arresting police officers, ignored any close similarity between my client’s outward appearance with that of the actual suspect. Despite the constant pleas from my client regarding his alibi to show his whereabouts, the arresting law enforcement agencies ignored a critical aspect of evidence that could have been used to collect critical information leading to the arrest of the actual suspect. From this realization, the police officers misused their privileges and the complimentary role of the facial recognition system to arrest my client, contradicting the due process and his rights enshrined by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
My client is a law-abiding citizen who works hard to support his young family. He is an ardent fitness and nutritional enthusiast who uses his free time to help people around him accomplish their fitness goals. He is a religious man and has exposed his family to his church’s doctrines, which sees them participate in multiple charity events to support the local community. My client is a voice for the voiceless and is often on the forefront against any social issues and vices, which lower the quality of life of individuals. I appeal to the jurors to review his contribution to the country when making a decision. Besides, I would like the court to review the dangerous impact of the facial recognition technology and develop feasible solutions that can be used to seal the loopholes, which are used to exploit minority population groups in the country.
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Conger, K., Fausset, R., & Kovaleski, S. F. (2019). San Francisco bans facial recognition technology. The New York Times, 14.
Naker, S., & Greenbaum, D. (2017). Now you see me: Now you still do: Facial recognition technology and the growing lack of privacy. BUJ Sci. & Tech. L., 23, 88.
Ringrose, K. (2019). Law Enforcement’s Pairing of Facial Recognition Technology with Body-Worn Cameras Escalates Privacy Concerns. Va. L. Rev. Online, 105, 57.
Sebastian, M. (2020). Normalizing resistance: saying no to facial recognition technology. Feminist Media Studies, 20(4), 594-597.
Thielman, N. R. (2020). Strategic othering: exploring the strategic use of race by the ACLU towards the ban on facial recognition surveillance (Master’s thesis).