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Malaysian Judiciary Makes History By Using Artificial Intelligence To Sentence Two Cases

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Malaysian Judiciary Makes History By Using Artificial Intelligence To Sentence Two Cases

AI to the rescue!


The Malaysian judiciary recently made history by employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sentence two drug cases, The New Straits Times reported.

The AI had recommended 10 months' jail for Denis Modili, who was charged under Section 12(2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for possessing 0.01gm of methamphetamine at Kampung Kobusak in Penampang on 16 December last year. 


Magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun, however, sentenced him to a 12 months' jail term, to run concurrently with an 8-month jail sentence he is currently serving for another drug case.

Magistrate Jessica also sentenced another accused, 26-year-old Christopher Divingson Mainol to nine months' jail, also for a case of drug possession. He possessed 0.16 gm of methamphetamine at Kampung Cenderamata in Likas on Cct 22 last year.

The AI had recommended a 9 months' jail for Christopher.

Defence wasn't happy

While it is a way forward in judgement, its usage was objected by the defence team in the case.

Counsel Hamid Ismail raised the objection before Magistrate Jessica in defence of his clients, claiming that the use of AI "might affect the court’s thinking in sentencing.” 

Jessica replied that the use of AI would aid in decision-making, using data based on arguments made by the defence and prosecution as it would analyse a database of cases between 2014 and 2019 in Sabah and Sarawak before delivering recommendations to the court.

Magistrate Jessica with Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong.
At a press conference later, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong told the daily that the AI, which would be used in Sabah and Sarawak courts, would help save the judge’s time, especially when it requires them to manually refer to past cases.

The system is also expected to provide improved analysis and consistent recommendations.

The AI system is currently used for cases of drug possession under Section 12 of the Dangerous Drug Act, and rape cases under Section 376 of the Penal Code.

Do you guys think this is the way to go?

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