Defendants in Texas’ criminal justice system already face enough uncertainty when it comes to their trials. Now, deepfakes are shaking confidence in the legal system with the possibility that a defendant can be convicted on the basis of contrived and doctored evidence. Judges and lawyers are struggling with how to handle this matter.
The major problem is that nearly anyone with the right technology can create an altered recording or video using someone’s real voice and likeness. The technology has gotten cheaper and more readily available. Oftentimes, it is difficult to determine the difference between a real and a fake recording. Prosecutors would never intentionally introduce a fake recording into evidence, but even they may be fooled by the quality of the recording.
While the defense attorney may try to challenge the admission of a recording that cannot be authenticated, some courts may not even require authentication. Courts have not adopted a uniform standard about the need and the process for authentication. At the same time, confidence is undermined in every piece of evidence that would be introduced. This would include recordings that the defendant would try to use exonerating evidence. Deepfakes results in something called a “Liar’s Dividend,” where those who act nefariously succeed in undermining confidence in the legal system as an institution.
The new challenges regarding evidence make it all the more important for a defendant to hire a criminal defense attorney. Since the landscape has grown more complicated because of technology, it’s important to take extra steps to protect the client’s constitutional rights. Here, the lawyer may file a motion to suppress any evidence that they believe to be questionable.