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We have amazing stats on the umpires of a simple pastime and hobby.  Just google “mlb umpire stats” and you will have your hands full on any sort of data sliced and diced in every way imaginable.  Sports fans brag about the stats of their favorite players to their friends.  

But what about the people that actually matter, the ones that can put you in jail for the rest of your life?  Judges, DAs, and lawyers?  Where are their stats?  Are these judicial players being impartial on their job? Are they making biased decisions? Is there a way to measure this somehow?

Absolutely. We have the statistics to answer some questions like this and to produce graphs like the above, but the information is currently buried in cryptic datasets that are hard to access unless you know the right people and don’t ask too many questions. 

Amazing data in our hands that is currently going unused

We were able to put our hands on over 35 million court records in North Carolina. We have this info now.  Every single criminal case from 2008 – 2013 that occurred in North Carolina.  Info buried deep include case outcomes, which judge presided over each case, demographic details of the defendant (race, age, gender), who the lawyer was, who the DA was, etc.  This is something that we think MADD, the ACLU, and the NAACP might be interested in.  

Questions that we can try to answer with this information include the following:

  • Do some judges favor particular types of defendants?
  • Could open data be used to surface a DA’s questionable track record before a lot of damage is done by that DA?
  • Would you like to know a particular lawyer’s actual track record in court before hiring them?
  • Could open data be used to help citizens and leaders spot police behavior pattersn sooner?
  • Could the use of open data have prevented wrongful incarcerations and deaths of minorities?  

This is not a game…this is real

This stuff is life-altering.  Its not some dumb game watched over a few beers and hot dogs. The impacts to society are potentially huge.  And really, we should already be doing this.  It’s 2015 already, and ironically, we know more about umpires than we do about judges, DAs, and attorneys.  Something needs to change, and we think we can help do that.

“We care more about the stats of the umpires in a dumb pastime than we do about stats of people that can change your life” – Jim Young

What we want to build

Our goal is to anonymize the defendant data and make it easily accessible via a simple interface and RESTful API. The simple interface would be used by any citizen that wants to do some basic research on a judge, DA, or lawyer.  The API would be used by smart developers wanting to build really cool stuff.  Making this information available and open could do wonders for the transparency of our judicial system.  

 

A couple of wireframes of the simple interface are displayed below.

browse-judgesjudge-stats

  

We need some help

 

Help us make stats on our judicial players as accessible and transparent as the stats on our umpires and baseball players. Contact me or click on the donate button below if you are interested in helping with this cause.