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Can Crime Be Ethically Predicted

Posted on October 29, 2018

Crimes are something that no country tolerates, and they do all they can to prevent crimes and keep their residents and citizens safe. If we look at the statistics crime rates are consistently on the fall, which is a boon for society. The credit goes to all the law enforcement and everyone involved who work day and night to keep this country safe. If we compare the crime rates from the 1990’s to now there is surely decreased, and along with time surely the quality of law enforcement has improved but what has also improved parallelly is the technology that is been used in this area. Technology has advanced so much in the past few years that officials are now able to predict crimes and stop them before they happen. Officials use things such as facial recognition and the large databases that they have, coupled with predictive policing, to always remain a step ahead of the criminals. But what is not considered is whether these tools are ethical or not.

The working thesis I have come up with is, “Even though predicting crimes may not be ethical as it involves the infringement of civil liberties and perpetuates racial profiling, it is still an important to tool to preventing crimes and keep our society safe.” These days there so many set notions in our minds that certain people because of the way they look like and what they behave like, makes us think negatively towards them and we assume that they might be out there to do something wrong. This in plain terms is very unethical and it’s like the old, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” But sometimes or assumptions might be true, and that person might be harmful. So even though predictive crimes can be unethical it is still essential. I arrived at this topic because of a common trend that we have going around The United States, where some people are so quick to assume that if a person is Muslim he might be a terrorist. But again, law enforcement officials cannot deny the fact that he is Muslim and can make a few assumptions due to the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

Before I arrived at this topic I had even brainstormed about “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” at universities and whether it is right for businesses to deny an individual service based on their religion. But I wasn’t really interested in them. I wrote down a topic I was interested in which is Crimes and Criminology. Then I just used Krause’s technique of Brainstorming using computers and found this on an article and decided to stick with it for now. There are some resources I have looked up which include newspaper articles from papers such New York Times, Business Insider and The Brennan Center. In our libraries database there are quite a few articles on racial profiling linked to the justice system which will be helpful in writing this essay.




  1. Kristina Lucenko

    Racial profiling is definitely a debatable and controversial topic… I think you need to do a bit more exploratory reading to see whether your thesis is sound and will be persuasive to your readers. It seems as if right now you are saying that even though racial profiling is unethical, it should be an accepted practice in predicting crime and predictive policing. That’s a hard argument to make because you have already stated/admitted that it is an unethical practice that infringes on civil liberties. What are some of the articles that you are finding to support this idea? Are they credible? What evidence do you have that will be persuasive to readers? Let’s keep talking…

    1. Shail_0526 Post author

      Yes, when you mention that when I establish as an unethical practice, I am stating the obvious and I am leaving very little room for argument. But when we consider most topics in an argumentative research essay don’t most topics involve whether it is ethical or not? This plays in with Dylan’s topic on genome testing and even David’s topic on police brutality. I mean ethics is what differentiates in between right and wrong. The thesis that I have come up with right now is definitely interim. As Krause mentions in his essay that this is just the first preliminary thesis and it is ought to change in as I continue to write my essay. There are articles that show that predicting crimes early on has had no significant decrease in the rate of crimes as compared to other methods. The whole concept of racial profiling undermines the constitutional requirement that the police should target a person on their individual suspicion of wrong doing and not statistical probability.

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