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Does Precrime Mesh with the Ideals of U.S. Justice?

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Does Precrime mesh with the ideals of U.S. Justice? The fictional predictive police force of Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" may be the gold standard for crime prevention in science

Does Precrime mesh with the ideals of U.S. Justice? The fictional predictive police force of Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" may be the gold standard for crime prevention in science fiction, but could such system actually exist in harmony with U.S. standards of justice? By first exploring the philosophical foundations for punishment and blame in the United States, a characterization of the U.S.'s ideals for justice is established. Then, given the role that databases play in crime-fighting today, especially in establishing probable cause for lawful arrests, it is argued that databases with predictive power could in fact give rise to police force that resembles Precrime, with some complications. How the predictions are interpreted under the law in order to give them legal basis in establishing probable cause is explained, with several potential possibilities produced. These avenues for preemptive arrest approach the realm of Precrime, but lack Precrime's level of security. Other forms of preemptive detention that are currently in use are explored, mainly involuntary civil commitment, in order to find a potential form that a more extreme Precrime may take in the U.S. Finally, the limits of Precrime are explained, with some caveats and concluding comments on the potential for abuse and misuse of predictive policing.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05