As computing power increased across the decades with the marching miniaturisation of technology,
As bandwidth widened and global sharing of digital information became near-instantaneous,
As public surveillance technology became increasingly intrusive, comprehensive and widespread,
As artificial intelligence and automated data analysis became ever-more generalised and sophisticated,
As society’s attitudes concerning automation and privacy tended more and more towards compliance,

So the criminal justice system grew cripplingly inefficient as the quantities of admissible evidence available for any breach of law became unmanageable,
So another traditional profession was swept aside,
Another cornerstone of modern society was tidied up in the interests of efficiency;

And those efficiencies were incredible…
All relevant surveillance data for any crime was made instantly available to Justice,
Advanced simulation tools could be used to establish reasonable likelihoods for specific physical or social events,
Machine learning was refined using the accumulating sum of historical criminal evidence, trial verdicts, human surveillance data,
Until finally…
The inevitable happened;

Not only thatβ€”
Verdicts were reached at the speed of light,
Criminal culpability could be decided at the point of arrest,
So that as the clasps of the cuffs closed around your wrists…
Your ultimate fate would already be decided.

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash


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