Can AI Criminal Sentencing Be Trusted?

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Episode 3
August 18, 2022
The Future of Bitcoin

Hosted by Dave Levine and Denise Howell


Should algorithms be able to influence court decisions and sentencing? In this inaugural August 2022 R&D with D&D discussion, Dave and Denise delve into AI’s increasing role in legal sentencing with Cornell Law Professor Jessica Eaglin, which continues to vex policymakers to this day.

Eaglin’s extensive research into algorithmic decisions and AI, particularly in criminal justice and sentencing, reveal the impact of this controversial development. Dave, Denise, and Jessica examine the potential for AI to positively guide sentencing decisions, as well as its potential for harm with coded biases and inaccurate information. They examine the prospect of AI becoming a nuisance to the functions of criminal courts. While AI is not ubiquitously good or bad, this critical discussion with a leading expert in the space brings into focus the need to consider how and when we utilize it, if it is to be beneficial for humanity. 



“What we think we care about is changing based on what we measure.”

 – Jessica Eaglin


“The glory of justice and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution – nor by the courts – nor by the officers of the law – nor by the lawyers – but by the men and women who constitute our society – who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law.”

– Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1962)


Lead Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Research and Development with Dave and Denise
Research and Development with Dave and Denise
Can AI Criminal Sentencing Be Trusted?
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Jessica Eaglin

Cornell Law School Prof. Jessica Eaglin focuses her research on algorithms in criminal sentencing. She was previously a professor at Indiana University School of Law and Counsel in the Justice Program at Brennen Center at NYU. Eaglin clerked for Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith and was a litigation associate at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett in New York.
Dave Golumbia - Guest
Denise Howell



Veteran Podcaster and Blogger

Denise is a podcasting industry original and veteran blogger. She has co-hosted Triangulation, conversations with the smartest people in the world about the most important topics in technology, and has been contributing on Leo Laporte’s TWiT Network for 17 years. Having been credited with coining the term “blawg,” she has blogged on CBS Interactive and is a technology lawyer (Berkeley Law, ’90), advising corporate and individual clients on issues at the intersection of emerging technologies and the law.



Dave Levine is the founder and host of Hearsay Culture. He is a Professor at Elon University School of Law and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society (Stanford Law School). From 2014-2017, he was a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is also the co-author of Information Law, Governance, and Cybersecurity (West 2019). A regular contributor to Slate, Dave has been published in leading newspapers, websites, and academic journals in the US and EU.

Dave Levine


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