In the TV series Minority Report, why was PreCrime shut down. Why is using precogs illegal?

2 Answers 2


Minority Report the show is a direct continuation of Minority Report the movie. The events of the movie is what shuts down the PreCrime department:

Lara calls Burgess to reveal Anderton is with her. Anderton is captured, accused of both murders, and imprisoned in stasis alongside other previous would-be murderers, while Agatha is reconnected to the PreCrime system. While attempting to comfort Lara, Burgess accidentally reveals himself as Lively's murderer. Lara frees Anderton from the stasis facility, and Anderton exposes Burgess at a PreCrime celebratory banquet by playing the full video of Agatha's vision of Lively.

Burgess chases Anderton, and a new report is generated at PreCrime, with Anderton the victim and Burgess the murderer. Burgess corners Anderton, and explains that as he could not afford to let Lively take Agatha back without impacting PreCrime, he arranged to kill Lively following an actual attempt on her life, as to make his attack appear as a minority report within PreCrime. Anderton then points out Burgess's dilemma: If Burgess kills Anderton, he will be imprisoned for life, but PreCrime will be validated; if he spares Anderton, PreCrime will be discredited and shut down. Anderton reveals the ultimate flaw of the system: Once people are aware of their future, they are able to change it. Burgess asks for Anderton's forgiveness and shoots himself.

The movie deals with predestination and the fluidity of telling the future.

The key parts of the movie are right near the beginning:

The Federal government is on the verge of adopting the controversial program.

The D.C. program is a pilot, and like any police technology use, would be heavily scrutinized, legal challenges, etc.

Anderton seeks the advice of Dr. Iris Hineman, the creator of PreCrime technology. She reveals that sometimes, one of the Precogs, usually Agatha, has a different vision than the other two, a "minority report"; this has been kept a secret as it would damage the system's credibility.

And a program that has a 33% probability of false positive resulting in unjust convictions is a big no no in the Justice system. Hiding evidence of this is worse. The precogs only see one possible future at best, dreams or stray thoughts at worst, and they can't even agree.

The entire program is sketchy, and once it was proven to be incredibly faulty by its very nature, let alone hiding evidence, public and legal support for it vanished in a heart beat.

Thus the use of precogs by the police becomes illegal because of the blatant abuse of power they would provide, as well as the inaccuracy.


I believe precrime was determined to be unethical/illegal for reasons that I'm not sure have been fully elaborated on. My understanding is that a combination of what it was doing to the precogs themselves (who were after all simply citizens being held illegally against their will) as well as the questions surrounding the arrest of people for something they haven't actually done yet - especially after the existence of the actual "minority report" is revealed in the movie and the fact that there isn't always consensus between the precogs - are what resulted in a governmental investigation and eventual shutdown of the program.

Bit of a run-on sentence but hopefully you get the point. ;)

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