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Evidence

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Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye Jan 2007

Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

Legal literature and case law depicts the infamous conviction of Alfred Dreyfus for treason and espionage in 1899 as a prime example of the irresistible power of even grossly fallacious mathematical demonstrations to overwhelm a legal tribunal. This essay shows that Dreyfus is not a case of mathematics run amok, unchecked and uncomprehended. To the contrary, the defects in the mathematical proof were dramatically exposed, and this evidence did not lead Dreyfus's judges to condemn him. This history undercuts the reliance of modern courts and commentators on Dreyfus as an indication or illustration of the alleged dangers of probability ...


Statistical Significance And The Burden Of Persuasion, David H. Kaye Jan 1983

Statistical Significance And The Burden Of Persuasion, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

In most endeavors concerned with the acquisition of knowledge, quantitative information is welcomed. In law, however, it appears sometimes that scientific or numerical evidence makes cases harder, not easier. Nevertheless, there are many cases and administrative proceedings, in such areas as environmental law, food and drug regulation, and civil rights, in which statistical data obtained by observation or experiment are readily accepted as assisting in the proper resolution of disputed issues of fact. When courts or administrators confront scientific and statistical evidence in these proceedings, they are not always certain of how to weigh the evidence or whether they should ...