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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Law

Statistics In The Jury Box: How Jurors Respond To Mitochondrial Dna Match Probabilities, David H. Kaye, Valerie P. Hans, B. Michael Dann, Erin J. Farley, Stephanie Albertson Dec 2007

Statistics In The Jury Box: How Jurors Respond To Mitochondrial Dna Match Probabilities, David H. Kaye, Valerie P. Hans, B. Michael Dann, Erin J. Farley, Stephanie Albertson

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This article describes parts of an unusually realistic experiment on the comprehension of expert testimony on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing in a criminal trial for robbery. Specifically, we examine how jurors who responded to summonses for jury duty evaluated portions of videotaped testimony involving probabilities and statistics. Although some jurors showed susceptibility to classic fallacies in interpreting conditional probabilities, the jurors as a whole were not overwhelmed by a 99.98% exclusion probability that the prosecution presented. Cognitive errors favoring the defense were more prevalent than ones favoring the prosecution. These findings lend scant support to the legal argument that ...


Independent Judicial Research In The "Daubert" Age, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2007

Independent Judicial Research In The "Daubert" Age, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court's Daubert trilogy places judges in the unenviable position of assessing the reliability of often unfamiliar and complex scientific expert testimony. Over the past decade, scholars have therefore explored various ways of helping judges with their new gatekeeping responsibilities. Unfortunately, the two dominant approaches, which focus on doctrinal tests and external assistance mechanisms, have been largely ineffective. This Article advocates for a neglected but important method for improving scientific decision making-independent judicial research. It argues that judges facing unfamiliar and complex scientific admissibility decisions can and should engage in independent library research to better educate themselves about ...


Prosecutors, Ethics, And Expert Witnesses, Paul C. Giannelli, Kevin C. Mcmunigal Jan 2007

Prosecutors, Ethics, And Expert Witnesses, Paul C. Giannelli, Kevin C. Mcmunigal

Fordham Law Review

No abstract provided.


Judges, Juries, And Scientific Evidence, Valerie P. Hans Jan 2007

Judges, Juries, And Scientific Evidence, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The rise in scientific evidence offered in American jury trials, along with court rulings thrusting judges into the business of assessing the soundness of scientific evidence, have produced challenges for judge and jury alike. Many judges have taken up the duty of becoming “amateur scientists.” But what about juries? Surely they too could benefit from assistance as they attempt to master and apply complex testimony about scientific matters during the course of a trial. Concerns about the jury’s ability to understand, critically evaluate, and employ scientific evidence in deciding complex trials have led to many suggestions for reform.

This ...


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 ...


The Overlapping Magisteria Of Law And Science: When Litigation And Science Collide, William G. Childs Jan 2007

The Overlapping Magisteria Of Law And Science: When Litigation And Science Collide, William G. Childs

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, the Author explores two unexpected consequences of joining science and law at the hip, and considers whether these consequences represent reciprocal contamination, or instead cross-fertilization, of law and science. In Part I of this Article, the Author provides a brief review of the evolution of legal standards for the admissibility of what is termed "scientific evidence," including Frye and Daubert and their progeny. In Part II of the Article, the Author gives a (necessarily limited) overview of certain modern scientific paradigms of reliability and he explores the realities of peer reviews and of other institutions in science ...


Bite Mark Analysis, Paul C. Giannelli Jan 2007

Bite Mark Analysis, Paul C. Giannelli

Faculty Publications

Courts have admitted bite mark comparison evidence in homicide, rape, and child abuse cases. By the 1980s, the technique had gained widespread judicial acceptance. Hundreds of cases have admitted this type of evidence, and no reported case has rejected it. Moreover, some courts speak of bite mark comparison as a "science." Indeed, its acceptance is so well-established that several courts have taken judicial notice of its reliability, implying that the validity of the technique is not subject to reasonable dispute.

Yet, the scientific foundations for bite mark comparisons has never been demonstrated. Such basic issues as the uniqueness of the ...