Big Data Prosecution and Brady


Prosecutors are joining the big data revolution, adopting “intelligence-driven” strategies to target crime patterns. Structured and unstructured datasets are collecting information to track offenders, places, and groups, allowing prosecutors to link crimes by time, location, associations, or other connections. But as powerful as these new forms of centralized data systems might be for investigators, there remains a critical open issue: the systems were not designed to identify the exculpatory and impeaching material prosecutors are required to disclose under Brady v. Maryland. This Article examines the design flaw at the core of the
intelligence-driven prosecution model—a flaw that creates a due process problem that threatens to undermine this innovation. The Article also explores how big data prosecution necessitates a new theory of Brady and suggests a way to engineer a theoretical and technological solution to current Brady practice consistent with due process principles.

About the Author

Visiting Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law; Professor of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.

By uclalaw