The Zichuan District People’s Court in China is being criticized for using a computer program to determine sentences in more than 1500 criminal cases.
The software, which is said to be programmed to work with about 100 different types of cases, allows judges to enter details of a particular crime into the system, which then provides a sentence for the accused.
Its developers claim that the program is meant to help standardize sentencing in China, while the court’s Chief Judge feels that it is a good way to avoid abuse of power by judges due to corruption or insufficient training.
On the other side of the debate are those who feel that the computer is a stupid idea that does nothing but highlight the laziness of the court system.
Strangely, none of these people saw fit to mention that a system like this, especially in a place like China, can’t possibly do a thing to curb a corruption problem. Everybody reading this surely knows how easy it is to push a few buttons on a keyboard and instantly make a situation into something that it’s not. What’s to stop a judge from using some of that “discretionary power” that the computer hopes to take away to leave out a few details that he doesn’t really feel are all that important, embellish a few that probably aren’t to make them appear as though they are, or even worse, throw in a few that flat out don’t exist? Nothing, that’s what. And even if somebody wants to argue that records are kept, I counter that with this. We’re talking about fucking China here. They aren’t exactly known for their glimmering human rights record. If you honestly believe that a government that causes *people* to vanish from the face of the Earth on a daily basis is going to think twice about messing with a few computer files, you either work for that government, or you’re completely and utterly batshit insane. then again, I think that might be a requirement for getting a Chinese government job in the first place, so I guess there can only be one reason to be on side with a system like this.