Statistical science in the courtroom.

*(English)*Zbl 0960.62133
Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy. New York, NY: Springer. xxii, 443 p. (2000).

[The articles of this volume will not be indexed individually.]

This is a nice compendium of articles, mostly by very well-known authors. It is not a conference proceedings; it arises from its editor’s wish to produce a useful volume of work on law and justice statistics. In contrast to a book on statistical methods as applied to the law, these authors were asked to write on how their involvement in legal testimony has affected their research. They were also encouraged to comment on how well the courts consider statistical testimony. The book contains 22 chapters by a total of 24 authors. Even though this is not supposed to be a technical reference, I still wish that there were an index. The Preface, however, is excellent and gives some help in navigating the articles.

General topics discussed include DNA evidence, sample size, discrimination cases, tobacco litigation, the death penalty, and discussion of the Shonubi case, which is viewed as an example of failure in the justice system’s use of statistical evidence. Throughout, there are interesting stories and commentaries on philosophical issues and the practice of statistics. Even statisticians who have never given expert testimony, and never intend to, are likely to find this book richly rewarding.

This is a nice compendium of articles, mostly by very well-known authors. It is not a conference proceedings; it arises from its editor’s wish to produce a useful volume of work on law and justice statistics. In contrast to a book on statistical methods as applied to the law, these authors were asked to write on how their involvement in legal testimony has affected their research. They were also encouraged to comment on how well the courts consider statistical testimony. The book contains 22 chapters by a total of 24 authors. Even though this is not supposed to be a technical reference, I still wish that there were an index. The Preface, however, is excellent and gives some help in navigating the articles.

General topics discussed include DNA evidence, sample size, discrimination cases, tobacco litigation, the death penalty, and discussion of the Shonubi case, which is viewed as an example of failure in the justice system’s use of statistical evidence. Throughout, there are interesting stories and commentaries on philosophical issues and the practice of statistics. Even statisticians who have never given expert testimony, and never intend to, are likely to find this book richly rewarding.

Reviewer: Russell V.Lenth (Iowa City)

##### MSC:

62P99 | Applications of statistics |

62-06 | Proceedings, conferences, collections, etc. pertaining to statistics |

62P25 | Applications of statistics to social sciences |

00B15 | Collections of articles of miscellaneous specific interest |