- Series: Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Hardcover: 443 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2000 edition (August 11, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387989978
- ISBN-13: 978-0387989976
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,909,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Statistical Science in the Courtroom (Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences) 2000th Edition
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From the reviews:
"Any statistician and probably most lawyers can pick this book up and find it both enjoyable and valuable to read. It is certainly the best available tool to support either group in the effective use of expert witness testimony from statisticians in the courtroom."
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With the advent of DNA evidence, statisticians are asked to compute matching probablities to determine the likelihood that a suspect is the person whose DNA was found at the crime scene. The results can be overwhelming but even a statistician with expertise in DNA matching can be tripped up by clever high priced lawyers. Such was the case when Bruce Weir testified on national television in the O. J. Simpson case.
Joe Gastwirth has contributed to the statistical research applied to legal problems over the past 20 years at least and he has published a book on the subject. In this volume, he compiles a number of case stories and statistical issues in legal cases told by many very capable statisticians including Alan Izenman, Jay Kadane, Bruce Weir, Seymour Geisser, Don Rubin, Joe Gastwirth himself,David Pollard and Scott Zeger. These are all fascinating tales that will especially be appreciated by lawyers and statisticians. But this is also worthwhile reading for the general public. Read the preface, where Gastwirth gives you a synopsis of these articles.
One of my favorites is the article by Seymour Geisser who tells a sad tale about how statistical issues relating to problems in the analysis of DNA evidence is covered up by the FBI. This is taken to the extent of influencing the refereeing process for journal publications, a shocking tale!
Unfortunately even though DNA evidence can be as conclusive as a fingerprint, human error in processing the evidence can create doubt about the matching process or even pursuade a jury that evidence was planted or a defendant frame. Such things are possible and defense lawyers now exist who are up to the task of creating such doubt as was done masterfully by Johnny Cochran and Barry Scheck in the O.J. trial.