Math on Trial

How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Courtroom

Author: Leila Schneps,Coralie Colmez

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465037941

Category: Mathematics

Page: 272

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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.
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The Math of Life and Death

7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives

Author: Kit Yates

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1982111895

Category: Mathematics

Page: 288

View: 6699

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A brilliant and entertaining mathematician illuminates seven mathematical principles that shape our lives. “Kit Yates shows how our private and social lives are suffused by mathematics. Ignorance may bring tragedy or farce. This is an exquisitely interesting book. It’s a deeply serious one too and, for those like me who have little math, it’s delightfully readable.” —Ian McEwan, author of Atonement “Kit Yates is a natural storyteller. Through fascinating stories and examples, he shows how maths is the beating heart of so much of modern life. An exciting new voice in the world of science communication.” —Marcus du Sautoy, author of The Music of the Primes From birthdays to birth rates to how we perceive the passing of time, mathematical patterns shape our lives. But for those of us who left math behind in high school, the numbers and figures hurled at us as we go about our days can sometimes leave us scratching our heads and feeling as if we’re fumbling through a mathematical minefield. In this eye-opening and extraordinarily accessible book, mathemati­cian Kit Yates illuminates hidden principles that can help us understand and navigate the chaotic and often opaque surfaces of our world. In The Math of Life and Death, Yates takes us on a fascinating tour of everyday situations and grand-scale applications of mathematical concepts, including exponential growth and decay, optimization, statistics and probability, and number systems. Along the way he reveals the mathematical undersides of controversies over DNA testing, medical screening results, and historical events such as the Chernobyl disaster and the Amanda Knox trial. Readers will finish this book with an enlightened perspective on the news, the law, medicine, and history, and will be better equipped to make personal decisions and solve problems with math in mind, whether it’s choosing the shortest checkout line at the grocery store or halting the spread of a deadly disease.
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Character in the Criminal Trial

Author: Mike Redmayne

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191057045

Category: Law

Page: 330

View: 2959

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If a defendant is on trial for a crime such as burglary, to what extent should the fact that he has a previous conviction for burglary feature in his trial? Should the prosecution be allowed to tell the jury about the previous conviction as evidence that the defendant is more likely to have committed burglary? Should the judge give the defendant a longer sentence because he has a previous conviction? These are the fundamental questions examined in Character in the Criminal Trial. Including an in-depth analysis of the character evidence provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, this book assesses the arguments for and against using character evidence to prove a defendant's guilt. It explores the sentencing provisions in the same Act, as well as the general use of criminal record and other character evidence to aggravate and mitigate sentence. Issues examined in the course of the book include: psychological and philosophical debates about the stability of character; criminological research on recidivism and the nature of criminal careers; ethical debates about the use of prior behaviour to prove current or future offending; the process of reasoning underlying the use of bad character evidence; whether bad character evidence is prejudicial; and the use of risk assessment instruments to classify offenders as dangerous. By combining insights from law, psychology, criminology, and philosophy, Redmayne reassesses the use of character in the criminal trial and reflects on the significance of the law's increasing emphasis on character.
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El Delito de la Limonada

Author: Jacqueline Davies

Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers

ISBN: 1328594440

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 192

View: 7581

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In this Spanish language edition of the riveting sequel to bestselling The Lemonade War, brother and sister duo Evan and Jessie turn the playground into a full-blown courtroom as they attempt to take the law into their own hands.
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