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State v. Loomis

This article summarizes State v. Loomis and related discussions.
State v. Loomis


Eric Loomis was charged in 2013 for crimes related to a drive-by shooting. Although he denied the shooting, he confessed to operating the stolen vehicle connected to the crime. During his sentencing, a COMPAS risk assessment, which evaluates an individual’s recidivism risk, indicated a “high risk of recidivism” for Loomis. Loomis sought post-conviction relief, arguing against COMPAS on grounds of accuracy, individualized sentencing, and gender bias. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, however, dismissed all his claims but mandated more transparency about COMPAS’s limitations.


Due Process: Loomis’s argument emphasized the lack of transparency in the COMPAS risk assessment, questioning its accuracy and thereby challenging its adherence to due process principles.

Discretion: There’s a potential threat to a judge’s discretion with the presence of AI-driven recommendations. In Loomis’s case, while the judge stated other factors were considered, the COMPAS recommendation could have inadvertently influenced the sentencing decision.

Independence: While the judge made the final decision, the presence of an AI system might pose an unconscious influence on the judge’s independence in decision-making.

Duty to Give Reasons: The proprietary nature of COMPAS poses challenges in providing clear reasoning behind sentencing decisions, potentially undermining this core judicial principle.

© Ching-Fu Lin and NTHU, proofread by ChatGPT
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