Tag Archives: Schneps

Are Two Heads Better than One? Mathematics and the Amanda Knox Case

In yesterday’s New York Times, “Leila Schneps, a mathematician and mystery writer, and her daughter Coralie Colmez” wrote an op-ed entitled “Justice Flunks Math.” They gave this failing grade to an Italian judge who declined to order a second DNA test in the notorious murder case against the American student, Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

If only the judge understood probability theory, they suggest, he might have ruled in favor of the prosecution’s request for another DNA test. As explained in Forensic, Science, Statistics, and the Law, I am not sure that their criticism of “bad judicial math” in this case computes.