ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Together Ventures Lab (STVL3, LLC) today announced an investment in JusticeText, a software platform that makes it easier for public defenders to process and incorporate crucial audio and video evidence in defense of their clients. The investment is the latest from Stand Together Ventures Lab, a venture group focused on originating, incubating and funding ventures that leverage disruptive business models or a unique application of technology with the potential to drive positive societal transformation.
Despite the fact that 80 percent of all criminal cases involve video evidence, the vast majority of public defenders struggle to find the time needed to review all relevant footage. This inspired the founders of JusticeText to create an easy-to-use platform tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of public defenders. JusticeText makes it simple to upload audiovisual evidence, generate an automated transcript, and edit and analyze the material. Their platform uses speech-to-text machine learning algorithms to transcribe the video and creates a searchable transcription alongside the video.
JusticeText was started by two computer science majors and graduating seniors at the University of Chicago, Devshi Mehrotra and Leslie Jones-Dove. They were initially funded by a grant from David Axelrod, the founder of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and the former chief strategist for President Barack Obama.
"Too many people are serving time for crimes they did not commit thanks to strained public resources," said Devshi Mehrotra, CEO of JusticeText. "We plan to help change that. By making it easier for public attorneys to use audiovisual evidence in their defenses, we believe more people will have a fair shot in the justice system. It's one small solution for public defenders that will have an enormous impact on the lives of the people it exonerates."
"In JusticeText, we see an opportunity to help scale an organization that is tackling an under resourced challenge in our justice system," said Sihyun Choi, managing director at STVL3, LLC. "It is a sad reality that public defenders often lack the time and resources needed to properly incorporate audiovisual evidence into their defense. JusticeText is helping to level the playing field by ensuring that a lack of evidence doesn't derail the course of an innocent person's life."
JusticeText is currently operating pilot programs with public defenders' offices in Texas, Ohio, New York, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. The group is aiming to make their technology available to every public defense office.