542.01 AI and Criminal Justice

Artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly is used to make important decisions that affect individuals and society. A particularly pressing area of concern has been in criminal cases, in which a person’s life, liberty, and public safety can be at stake. In the United States and globally, despite concerns that technology may deepen pre-existing racial disparities and overreliance on incarceration, black box AI has proliferated in areas such as: DNA mixture interpretation; facial recognition; recidivism risk assessments; and predictive policing.

This two-credit seminar will include academic work regarding several of those types of uses of AI in criminal justice, as well as some of the early judicial opinions ruling on such evidence. We will read leading work on the rules of evidence implicated by AI, what constitutional criminal procedure rules are at stake, and we will engage with how these technologies work and are evolving. We will also attend, and comment on, a portion of a timely judicial conference on expert evidence on Friday, Jan. 26, and a longer set of discussions with EU experts on AI on Saturday, January 27.

There are no prerequisites, but a course in evidence or in criminal procedure would be helpful. Students will write a 3-5 page response paper to the portion of the conference that they attend and a 20- page research and policy paper, with presentations in class on each student’s work at the end of the semester.

Special Notes:


Spring 2024

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
Brandon L. Garrett
Canvas site: https://canvas.duke.edu/courses/28365
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice