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How deepfakes harm the criminal justice system

Posted by Saul Steinberg | Jul 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

If you are a criminal defendant in New Jersey, technology adds another layer of complication to your legal situation. Now, you will need to be concerned about the authenticity of video and other recordings that are used at your trial. However, there is also an opportunity for your lawyer to raise doubts about some of the evidence that the prosecution is seeking to introduce at your trial.

Deepfakes are now widespread and easy

Those who use social media are most likely familiar with the concept of a “deepfake.” This is when someone uses technology to doctor or make a fake recording using someone's image or voice. This is becoming easier as technology has become more widespread and easy to use. When it comes to trials, it means that there is always a question about the evidence. What makes this issue even more vexing is that different courts have issued varying rulings about whether each recording needs to be authenticated at trial.

Deepfakes affect the entire criminal justice system

The further difficulty is that the prevalence of deepfakes will serve to undermine confidence in the justice system. There may be evidence that can exonerate a criminal defendant, but now all evidence will be looked at with a degree of skepticism. People will always question whether something is real. While there were other evidentiary questions decades ago, deepfakes may subvert criminal justice. This is otherwise known as the “Liar's Dividend” that rewards those who act dishonestly by reducing confidence in the whole system.

When there are evidentiary issues in your case, the help of a criminal law attorney is invaluable. Sometimes, the entire outcome of a case will depend on whether a certain piece of evidence is admissible. This is why you need an attorney to realize when there may be a problem with evidence. The attorney could then file a motion to suppress the evidence in court that could lead to it being excluded.

About the Author

Saul Steinberg

Saul J. Steinberg was born and raised in Camden, NJ. He has practiced in Camden County since first being admitted to the bar. Since 1990, he has also handled cases in Southeastern Pennsylvania.The emphasis of Saul's practice is in Criminal and Civil litigation. He has handled major criminal and c...


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