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Data’s Redemption: Pro bono Cases in Data Analytics

Embracing pro bono work holds an unequivocal significance for myriad reasons. Within iDS, our commitment to pro bono endeavors stems from a profound belief: the preservation of justice demands nothing less. We ardently advocate for the inclusion of data analytics in legal proceedings, recognizing its pivotal role in uncovering truths that might otherwise remain obscured.

Central to our ethos is the conviction that justice should be accessible to all. In navigating the delicate balance between client demands and operational capacity, we discern a growing necessity for data-driven insights to redress the scales of justice. In today’s data-driven landscape, the ability to decipher complex information is indispensable. Yet, the value of data is often overlooked, eclipsed by a lack of comprehension among stakeholders.

Data, with its intricate lexicon, serves as an impartial witness to human interactions and events. Unlike subjective narratives, data-based facts offer a veritable account. A time-stamp is devoid of bias, as is a serial number or GPS coordinate.

Consider the case of Bobby Williams, Director at iDS, who undertook a pro bono case where vital data had gone unexplored for years. After working closely with the defendant’s legal team, Williams helped orchestrate the exoneration of an innocent young woman.

The young woman, whose identity shall remain undisclosed out of respect, found herself entangled in a legal quagmire, accused of collusion in a murder case. Despite her vehement protestations of innocence, the circumstantial evidence against her painted a damning picture.

Her ordeal began with her apprehension, resulting from a tragic loss of life. The prosecution’s narrative hinged on witness testimonies alleging her complicity in the nefarious plot. However, as the case unfolded, it became apparent that reliance on subjective accounts alone obscured a vital aspect—the silent testimony of data.

Law enforcement, equipped with multiple mobile devices retrieved from the crime scene, faltered at the precipice of technological complexity. The intricate web of geolocation data remained inscrutable, eluding their comprehension and relegating critical evidence to obscurity. It was a classic case of data underutilization—a missed opportunity with dire consequences.

Enter iDS, in collaboration with a pro bono legal team, to unravel the tangled skein of data concealed within those devices. Through meticulous analysis, Williams and his team unearthed a wealth of insights that shattered the prosecution’s narrative. The Geolocation data the iDS team found on mobile devices’ revealed a vastly different interpretation, one that exonerated the defendant and laid bare the fallibility of witness testimonies.

Williams’ expert analysis penetrated the veil of ambiguity to expose the truth—a reality where the mere presence of the defendant at the crime scene failed to establish culpability. Once Williams filed his expert report, he was prepared to testify on his findings, but in a dramatic turn of events, the testimonial foundation which the prosecution relied on crumbled. Witness after witness recanted their statements upon realizing the discrepancy between their accounts and the data-driven reality. With data emerging as the definitive witness, the need for further testimony dissipated, paving the way for the dismissal of charges and a wrongly incarcerated woman going free.

The harrowing ordeal endured by the female co-defendant, held behind bars for two years, serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of data underutilization in the criminal justice system. The reliance on unreliable witness testimony, coupled with the failure to harness the potential of available data, exacted a heavy toll on her life. This emphasizes the importance of involving data scientists and experts at the outset of legal proceedings. By entrusting the analysis of data to those equipped with the requisite expertise, we can safeguard not only individual rights but also the integrity of the judicial process itself.

At iDS, we remain steadfast in our commitment to championing data-driven insights, guided by a singular ethos: to help ensure that justice is not merely a lofty ideal but a tangible reality for all.

Bobby R. Williams Jr. - Director, Bobby R. Williams Jr., Director 



Bobby Williams      
Director – DEI Chair
Direct: +1.202.642.2113 | bwilliams@idsinc.com
US: +1.800.813.4832 | UK/EEA: +44 (0)20 8242 4130



iDS provides consultative data solutions to corporations and law firms around the world, giving them a decisive advantage – both in and out of the courtroom. iDS’s subject matter experts and data strategists specialize in finding solutions to complex data problems, ensuring data can be leveraged as an asset, not a liability. To learn more, visit iDSinc.com.

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