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Full-Text Articles in Law

Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman Apr 2018

Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

When evidence with a scientific basis is offered, two fundamental questions arise. First, should it be admitted? Second, if so, how should it be assessed? There are numerous participants who might play a role in deciding these questions—the jury (on the second question only), the parties (through counsel), expert witnesses on each side, the trial court, the forces controlling the judicial system (which include, but are not limited to, the appellate courts), and the scientific establishment. In this Article, I will suggest that together, the last two—the forces controlling the judicial system and the scientific establishment—have a ...


Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye Apr 2017

Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law by Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman.


Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg Mar 2017

Evidence Of Child Abuse: Inferring The Causes Of Effects, Stephen E. Fienberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A statistician's take on evidence of child abuse.


Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert Apr 2011

Proposal To Reverse The View Of A Confession: From Key Evidence Requiring Corroboration To Corroboration For Key Evidence, Boaz Sangero, Mordechai Halpert

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Both case law and legal literature have recognized that all, and not just clearly statistical, evidence is probabilistic. Therefore, we have much to learn from the laws of probability with regard to the evaluation of evidence in a criminal trial. The present Article focuses on the confession. First, we review legal and psychological literature and show that the probability of a false confession and, consequently, a wrongful conviction, is far from insignificant. In light of this, we warn against the cognitive illusion, stemming from the fallacy of the transposed conditional, which is liable to mislead the trier of fact in ...


Bayes' Law, Sequential Uncertainties, And Evidence Of Causation In Toxic Tort Cases, Neal C. Stout, Peter A. Valberg Jul 2005

Bayes' Law, Sequential Uncertainties, And Evidence Of Causation In Toxic Tort Cases, Neal C. Stout, Peter A. Valberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Judges are the gatekeepers of evidence. Arguably, the most difficult duty for a judicial gatekeeper is to screen the reliability of expert opinions in scientific fields such as medicine that are beyond the ken of most judges. Yet, judges have a duty to scrutinize such expert opinion evidence to determine its reliability and admissibility. In toxic tort cases, the issue of causation-whether the alleged exposures actually caused the plaintiffs injury-is nearly always the central dispute, and determining admissibility of expert causation opinion is a daunting challenge for most judges. We present a comprehensive review of the courts' struggles with the ...


Sometimes What Everybody Thinks They Know Is True, Richard D. Friedman, Roger C. Park Jan 2003

Sometimes What Everybody Thinks They Know Is True, Richard D. Friedman, Roger C. Park

Articles

This essay responds to D. Davis and W. C. Follette (2002), who question the value of motive evidence in murder cases. They argue that the evidence that a husband had extramartial affairs, that he heavily insured his wife's life, or that he battered his wife is ordinarily of infinitesimal probative value. We disagree. To be sure, it would be foolish to predict solely on the basis of such evidence that a husband will murder his wife. However, when this kind of evidence is cobmined with other evidence in a realistic murder case, the evidence can be quite probative. We ...


Conjunction And Aggregation, Saul Levmore Feb 2001

Conjunction And Aggregation, Saul Levmore

Michigan Law Review

This Article begins with the puzzle of why the law avoids the issue of conjunctive probability. Mathematically inclined observers might, for example, employ the "product rule," multiplying the probabilities associated with several events or requirements in order to assess a combined likelihood, but judges and lawyers seem otherwise inclined. Courts and statutes might be explicit about the manner in which multiple requirements should be combined, but they are not. Thus, it is often unclear whether a factfinder should assess if condition A was more likely than not to be present - and then go on to see whether condition B satisfied ...


Dna As Evidence: Viewing Science Through The Prism Of The Law, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman Jan 2000

Dna As Evidence: Viewing Science Through The Prism Of The Law, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In this article, we analyze a problem related to DNA evidence that is likely to be of great and increasing significance in the near future. This is the problem of whether, and how, to present evidence that the suspect has been identified through a DNA database search. In our view, the two well-known reports on DNA evidence issued by the National Research Council (NRC) have been badly mistaken in their analysis of this problem. The mistakes are significant because the reports have carried great authority with American courts; moreover, the DNA Advisory Board of the FBI has endorsed the second ...


Dna Database Searches And The Legal Consumption Of Scientific Evidence, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1999

Dna Database Searches And The Legal Consumption Of Scientific Evidence, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

DNA evidence has transformed the proof of identity in criminal litigation, but it has also introduced daunting problems of statistical analysis into the process. In this Article, we analyze a problem related to DNA evidence that is likely to be of great and increasing significance in the near future. This is the problem of whether, and how, to present evidence that the suspect has been identified through a DNA database search. In our view, the two well-known reports on DNA evidence issued by the National Research Council ("NRC"), each of which has carried great authority with the American courts on ...


Assessing Evidence, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1996

Assessing Evidence, Richard D. Friedman

Reviews

David A. Schum's Evidential Foundations of Probabilistic Reasoning, 2 C.G.G. Aitken's Statistics and the Evaluation of Evidence for Forensic Scientists,3 and Bernard Robertson and G.A. Vignaux's Interpreting Evidence: Evaluating Forensic Science in the Courtroom4 all have something to tell us about how to use and evaluate evidence. Although the books are addressed to different primary audiences5 and their authors come from a variety of disciplines and from distant points of the English-speaking world,6 all three help draw the connection between underlying theory and presentation in the courtroom. Though Schum uses numerous examples ...


Probability And Proof In State V. Skipper: An Internet Exchange, Ronald J. Allen, David J. Balding, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman, David H. Kaye, Lewis Henry Larue, Roger C. Park, Bernard Robertson, Alexander Stein Jan 1995

Probability And Proof In State V. Skipper: An Internet Exchange, Ronald J. Allen, David J. Balding, Peter Donnelly, Richard D. Friedman, David H. Kaye, Lewis Henry Larue, Roger C. Park, Bernard Robertson, Alexander Stein

Articles

This is not a conventional article. It is an edited version of messages sent to an Internet discussion list. The listings begin with the mention of a recent opinion of the Connecticut Supreme Court, parts of which are reproduced below. The listings soon move to broader issues concerning probability and other formal systems, their limitations, and their uses either in court or as devices for understanding legal proof.


Webs Of Things In The Mind: A New Science Of Evidence, Peter Tillers May 1989

Webs Of Things In The Mind: A New Science Of Evidence, Peter Tillers

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Evidence and Inference for the Intelligence Analyst by David Schum


The Numbers Game: Statistical Inference In Discrimination Cases, David H. Kaye Mar 1982

The Numbers Game: Statistical Inference In Discrimination Cases, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Statistical Proof of Discrimination by David Baldus and James Cole