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In the wrong hands, math can be deadly. Even the simplest numbers can become powerful forces when manipulated by journalists, politicians or other public figures, but in the case of the law your liberty—and your life—can depend on the right calculation. Math on Trial tells the story of ten trials in which mathematical arguments were used—and disastrously misused—as evidence. Despite years of math classes, most people (and most jurors) fail to detect even simple mathematical sophistry, resulting in such horrors as a medical expert’s faulty calculation of probabilities providing the key evidence for a British mother’s conviction for the murder of her two babies. The conviction was later overturned, but three years in prison took its toll—Sally Clark died of acute alcohol intoxication in March of 2007. Mathematicians Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez use a wide range of examples, from a mid-19th-century dispute over wills that became a signal case in the forensic use of mathematics, to the conviction and subsequent exoneration of Amanda Knox, to show how the improper application of mathematical concepts can mean the difference between walking free and life in prison. The cases discussed include: -The Case of Amanda Knox (How a judge’s denial of a second DNA test may have destroyed a chance to reveal the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder) -The Case of Joe Sneed (How a fabricated probability framed a son for his parents’ grisly killing) -The Case of Sally Clark (How multiplying non-independent probabilities landed an innocent mother in jail for the murder of her children) -The Case of Janet Collins (How unjustified estimates combined with a miscalculated probability convicted an innocent couple of violent robbery) A colorful narrative of mathematical abuse featuring such characters as Charles Ponzi, Alfred Dreyfus, Hetty Green, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Math on Trial shows that legal expertise isn’t everything when it comes to proving a man innocent.
Describes the issues that can result when mathematical arguments are improperly used and discusses ten trials where this was the case, including the Dreyfus Affair, the case of Diana Sylvester, and Charles Ponzi's original scheme.
In the wrong hands, math can be deadly. Even the simplest numbers can become powerful forces when manipulated by journalists, politicians or other public figures, but in the case of the law your liberty—and your life—can depend on the right calculation. Math on Trial tells the story of ten trials in which mathematical arguments were used—and disastrously misused—as evidence. Despite years of math classes, most people (and most jurors) fail to detect even simple mathematical sophistry, resulting in such horrors as a medical expert’s faulty calculation of probabilities providing the key evidence for a British mother’s conviction for the murder of her two babies. The conviction was later overturned, but three years in prison took its toll—Sally Clark died of acute alcohol intoxication in March of 2007. Mathematicians Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez use a wide range of examples, from a mid-19th-century dispute over wills that became a signal case in the forensic use of mathematics, to the conviction and subsequent exoneration of Amanda Knox, to show how the improper application of mathematical concepts can mean the difference between walking free and life in prison. The cases discussed include: -The Case of Amanda Knox (How a judge’s denial of a second DNA test may have destroyed a chance to reveal the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder) -The Case of Joe Sneed (How a fabricated probability framed a son for his parents’ grisly killing) -The Case of Sally Clark (How multiplying non-independent probabilities landed an innocent mother in jail for the murder of her children) -The Case of Janet Collins (How unjustified estimates combined with a miscalculated probability convicted an innocent couple of violent robbery) A colorful narrative of mathematical abuse featuring such characters as Charles Ponzi, Alfred Dreyfus, Hetty Green, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Math on Trial shows that legal expertise isn’t everything when it comes to proving a man innocent.
Trial and Error offers an unexpurgated examination of the past half-century of American jurisprudence through the life of one of America's most celebrated and accomplished lawyers. Here is John C. Tucker, a man who twice argued before the Supreme Court and won, challenged the nefarious and discriminatory practice of "contract lending" and lost, participated in such monumental cases as the Chicago Eight trial following the calamitous 1968 Democratic Convention—and retired at age fifty-one, securely established as one of the most respected jurists of his generation. In Trial and Error, he describes with poise and wit his encounters with as varied a cast of characters as Muhammad Ali, Abbie Hoffman, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, while chronicling the remarkable successes, and sobering disappointments, of his distinguished career. This is an honest and uncompromising analysis of the events that have shaped our court system, and the inspiring story of a man for principle in an increasingly unprincipled age for the legal profession.
A comprehensive, non-partisan account of the judicial proceedings spawned by the corruption of the 1919 World Series is badly needed. This book provides it. The narrative of events has been crafted from surviving fragments of the judicial record, contemporaneous newspaper accounts of the proceedings, museum archives and, occasionally, the literature of the Black Sox scandal. Preceding the account of judicial events are a brief overview of the baseball gambling problem, a summary of the 1919 Series, and a discussion of post-Series events that presaged revelations of the Series fix. The grand jury proceedings, the criminal trial, and ensuing civil suits initiated by various of the banned players against the White Sox are then recounted in detail, accompanied by copious source citations. The book concludes with a survey of how Black Sox-related legal proceedings have been treated in scandal literature. The book does not purport to be the definitive account of the Black Sox scandal. Rather, it uniquely presents how the matter played out in court.
A scathing indictment of the growing role of junk science in our courtrooms. Peter W. Huber shows how time and again lawyers have used—and the courts have accepted—spurious claims by so-called expert witnesses to win astronomical judgments that have bankrupted companies, driven doctors out of practice, and deprived us all of superior technologies and effective, life-saving therapies.
The book will serve primarily as a user's manual or desk reference for the expert witness-lawyer team and secondarily as a textbook or supplemental textbook for upper level undergraduate statistics students. It starts with two articles by masters of the trade, Paul Meier and Franklin Fisher. It then explains the distinction between the Frye and Daughbert standards for expert testimony, and how these standards play out in court. The bulk of the book is concerned with individual cases ranging over a wide variety of topics, such as electronic draw poker (does it require skill to play), employment discrimination (how to tell whether an employer discriminated against older workers in deciding whom to fire), driving while black (did the New Jersey State Police disproportionately stop blacks), jury representativeness (is a jury a representative cross section of the community), juries hearing death penalty cases (are such juries biased toward a guilty verdict, and does the Supreme Court care), the civil incarceration of violent sexual offenders after having served their jail sentences (can future dangerousness be predicted), do data from multiple choice examinations support an allegation of copying, whether rental agents in an apartment complex steered African-American prospects to one part of the complex, how much tax is owed after an audit that used a random sample, whether an inventor falsified his notebook in an effort to fool the Patent Office, and whether ballots hadbeen tampered with in an election. The book concludes with two recent English cases, one in which a woman was accused of murdering her infant sons because both died of \cot death" or \sudden death syndrome," (she was convicted, but later exonerated), and how Bayesian analyses can (or more precisely), cannot be presented in UK courts. In each study, the statistical analysis is shaped to address the relevant legal questions, and draws on whatever methods in statistics might shed light on those questions.

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