You Would’ve Done the Same

With a vibrant virtual reality, situations could be simulated that would rival reality. It would be great fun, but it would also be a helpful tool.

Scales of Justice by Sheba_Also on Flickr
Scales of Justice by Sheba_Also on Flickr

In today’s court cases, the jury only imagines what a crime must have looked like. Sure, they can see photos of the aftermath. They can see video evidence. But what must have been going through the heads of the people involved is a mystery.

In virtual reality, the scene could be replayed in complete detail for the jury. If cameras became even more ubiquitous in the real world than they are today, a scene from the real world could be translated to the virtual one.

Why might this be useful? Why would anyone want to relive a crime in such detail?

I was watching Chicago the musical (the movie, though) the other day.  The “Cell Block Tango” is one of the most memorable numbers in the movie, so of course it got stuck in my head.

He had it coming
(He had it coming)
He only had himself to blame
If you’d have been there
(If you’d have seen it)
I bet that you would’ve done the same

Cell Block Tango by romanticstyle on deviantart
Cell Block Tango by romanticstyle on deviantart


So that got me thinking. If it were so easy to determine guilt via virtual reality, that takes all the fun out of it. (Think like a writer with me! Conflict is king.)

What if there were another type of appeal a defendant could claim, instead of just guilty or innocent? If all twelve jurors were dropped into a virtual world (without knowing the details of the case yet), and they were put into the exact same situation… well, would they have done the same?

It’s a fun idea because it puts the jurors on trial as much as the defendant. If all twelve commit the crime, then the defendant can’t be found guilty.

Cover for The Last of the AgelessWhat do you think? How might a justice system change with the advent of a true virtual reality? Leave a comment below or find me as +Traci Loudin on Google+, the perfect place for fans of science fiction and fantasy to hang out.

If you like reading about wild ideas like this one, give The Last of the Ageless a shot. It’s a genre-bending post-apocalyptic adventure novel that blends science fiction and fantasy together for a unique twist on the apocalypse genre.

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2 responses to “You Would’ve Done the Same”

  1. John Loudin Avatar

    My professional opinion doubts other types of appeals a defendant could claim. (Just because everyone would respond in such a manner, is it right?) I think that the virtual world would have a greater presence and impact after the person has been processed by the justice system. The psychology, recovery, and rehabilitation programs thereafter, I believe, would change immensely.

  2. traciloudin Avatar

    Thanks for commenting! You're probably right. But that's if we're only thinking about US law in the virtual space. Other countries and cultures might have a legal system that would adapt strangely to the virtual space.

    As for the recover/rehabilitation… I hadn't even thought through all that. Brilliant!