Menu Close

Secret Conviction Programs


Meghan J. Ryan


March 23, 2020

Judges and juries across the country are convicting criminal defendants based on secret evidence. Although defendants have sought access to the details of this evidence—the results of computer programs and their underlying algorithms and source codes—judges have generally denied their requests. Instead, judges have prioritized the business interests of the for-profit companies that developed these “conviction programs” and which could lose market share if the secret algorithms and source codes on which the programs are based were exposed. This decision has jeopardized criminal defendants’ constitutional rights.


Meghan J. Ryan, Secret Conviction Programs, 77 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 269 (2020).