Shock verdict at trial is the headline of an article written by the Guardian's crime correspondent Janette Owen.
The article read:
- "In an unbelievable turn of events Moriarty walked free today after putting up no defence at all for what has been described as the Trial of the Century. Star witness Sherlock Holmes was not present for the verdict as in another twist to the case was thrown out of court by the Judge. Questions have been asked in Parliament and the Prime Minister was quoted as saying "This is a disgrace, a sign if we ever needed one that broken Britain is still broken..."
It's not often that the quiet world of mathematics is rocked by a murder case. But last summer saw a trial that sent academics into a tailspin, and has since swollen into a fevered clash between science and the law.
At its heart, this is a story about chance. And it begins with a convicted killer, "T", who took his case to the court of appeal in 2010. Among the evidence against him was a shoeprint from a pair of Nike trainers, which seemed to match a pair found at his home. While appeals often unmask shaky evidence, this was different. This time, a mathematical formula was thrown out of court. The footwear expert made what the judge believed were poor calculations about the likelihood of the match, compounded by a bad explanation of how he reached his opinion. The conviction was quashed.
But more importantly, as far as mathematicians are concerned, the judge also ruled against using similar statistical analysis in the courts in future. It's not the first time that judges have shown hostility to using formulae. But the real worry, say forensic experts, is that the ruling could lead to miscarriages of justice.
"The impact will be quite shattering,"..."
Behind the scenesEdit
Apart from the first paragraph, the article is exactly the same as the article 'A formula for justice' written by Angela Saini on 3 October 2011 for the Guardian.
The Angela Saini article (link)