Peter Tillers's research while affiliated with Yeshiva University and other places

Publications (30)

Article
In 1970, Michael O. Finkelstein (with William B. Fairley) proposed that under some circumstances a jury in a criminal trial might be invited to use Bayes’ Theorem to address the issue of the identity of the criminal perpetrator. In 1971, Laurence Tribe responded with a rhetorically powerful and wide-ranging attack on what he called ‘trial by mathem...
Article
Logic alone does not dictate the structure of inference and proof in trials. Trials are part of a social process, and the structure of proof in trials is influenced by many factors other than logic. However, logic (of various kinds and varying degrees of formality) does usually influence proof in trials to some extent. The role of logic (broadly un...
Article
Following an introduction by Michael Risinger, this publication preserves the postings to a discussion list for evidence professors on such topics as relevance, conditional relevance, probative value, inference, Bayes' rule, and likelihood ratios.
Article
Although interest in evidential inference is not new - interest in the topic reaches back into antiquity - during the last two or three decades there has been a veritable explosion of scholarship and research about evidential inference. Furthermore, evidential inference (or "factual inference") is now an important topic in virtually every field of...
Article
This paper is an extended defense of pluralism in formal theorizing about factual inference. To that end the paper examines (i) the role of subjective partitioning and shaping of evidence (ii) the character of inferences about human meaning.
Article
Introduction to a Seminal Issue of the Boston University Law Review on the Use of Various Formal Theories - including Probability Theory and Bayes' Theorem - to Dissect Factual Inference and Proof in Litigation
Article
In January 2008 the Evidence Section of the Association of American Law Schools awarded William Twining an inaugural John Henry Wigmore Lifetime Achievement Award in Evidence. This paper is a slightly-expanded version of Peter Tillers' oral introduction of William Twining at the Evidence Section's luncheon. The paper comments on Twining's importanc...
Article
Group-to-individual inferences are inevitable. They are sometimes epistemically legitimate. Sometimes such inferences are morally odious. It is important to distinguish between morally odious and epistemically odious inferences. A prohibition of group-to-individual inferences exclusively on epistemic grounds in both unwise and impossible. These pri...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMEN. El objeto del artículo es hacer un análisis de las complejidades que surgen cuando se intenta representar gráficamente las inferencias fácticas en el ámbito jurídico y proponer una serie de criterios que pueden servir de guía para cualquier intento de desarrollar un sistema ade-cuado de representación de inferencias. El prof. Tillers parte...
Article
By now it is an old story: legal scholarship in the English-speaking world about the law of evidence began to change in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This shift in the direction of Evidence scholarship came to be known as the ‘New Evidence Scholarship’—‘NES’, for short. A characteristic (but not universal) feature of much of NES—particularly in t...
Article
There is a well-settled maxim that the standard of persuasion in criminal trials—proof beyond a reasonable doubt—is unquantifiable. However, the usual reasons given for the unquantifiability of reasonable doubt are unsatisfactory; and a recent case, United States v. Copeland, serves as a reminder that strong considerations favour quantification of...
Article
This short paper discusses two key functions of visualizing evidence and inference in legal settings such as trials and pretrial investigation.
Article
There is a well settled maxim that the standard of persuasion in criminal trials - proof beyond a reasonable doubt - is unquantifiable. However, the usual reasons given for the unquantifiability of reasonable doubt are unsatisfactory; and a recent case, United States v. Copeland, serves as a reminder that strong considerations favor quantification...
Article
This review essay discusses the relationship between the intellectual history of the reasonable doubt standard and the question of current function of the reasonable doubt standard.
Article
This paper proceeds on the premise that hearsay presents a special case of the general phenomenon of multistage inference. The authors use Bayesian logic and some simple algebra to explore the properties of argument about the credibility and probative force of hearsay evidence under a variety of circumstances. The authors, however, acknowledge that...
Article
This letter describes Peter Pilgrim's progress through a landscape inhabited by hydraheaded Bayesian dragons and by other incorporeal beasts that also seem impervious to the physical assaults of material mortals. Peter eventually realizes that physical attacks against demons and monsters such as Bayesian dragons are ineffective because incorporeal...
Article
This paper explores the logical dynamics of investigation. The discussion emphasizes the irreversibility of investigative action and inaction.
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Theories of relevancy from 1931 to 1981: introduction. Wigmore was the dominant figure in the law of evidence for almost half a century, and his influence remains substantial today. While much of his reputation and influence rest on his detailed analyses of particular evidentiary problems, some of his general views about the nature of relevancy and...
Article
This paper - an introduction to a collection of papers - sets the stage for a discussion of the possible contribution of artificial intelligence - computational intelligence - to the study and management of proof in litigation.
Article
The rule barring the use of character to show conduct - the character evidence rule - has undergone significant erosion in recent years. The rule has also been subjected to withering criticism in recent years. But the character evidence rule - the rule barring the circumstantial use of character - is not yet dead. Moreover, the character evidence r...
Article
How do human beings know? And how can human beings make sure that they know the truth? These are old questions. However, their their shape has changed, or so some people think. Until very recently - roughly until the middle of the twentieth century - many observers believed that the question of the foundations of human knowledge is an unanswerable...
Article
n 1997 a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in an opinion in United States v. Shonubi (Shonubi IV), struck down a sentencing judge's use of certain statistics to estimate the amount of heroin that the defendant in that case allegedly imported. (United States v. Shonubi, 103 F.3d 1085 (2d Cir., 1997).) Shonubi IV is not particular...
Article
During the last fifteen years in the United States there has been much talk about uncertainty by two very different groups of scholars. First, legal and non-legal scholars in America and elsewhere have been using formal theories of probability and inference to study uncertainty in factfinding. Second, the collage known as Critical Legal Studies has...
Article
There is an old saying that a picture is worth 10,000 - or 100,000 - words. But this is not true of every picture. There have been efforts in the past to use pictures to portray factual inference and proof in legal settings. These efforts, however, have met with limited success - and one of them was a spectacular flop. This paper takes another look...
Article
Are the workings of proof in litigation predictable? Is it possible to assess in an orderly way how decisions by participants in the process of proof affect the workings of that process?
Article
Uncertainty is a pervasive feature of law and legal systems. One important form of uncertainty in law is factual uncertainty. These lecture notes examine several strategies for portraying or dissecting this form of uncertainty. The relationship between legal uncertainty and factual uncertainty is discussed. Graphic representations of factual uncert...
Article
In many ways the case was unremarkable. It involved a traffic fatality that may have involved drunken driving, a tragic but common occurrence. This unremarkable case - the criminal action of State of New Jersey v. Petro Radziwil, Indictment No. 1257-8-86 - is nevertheless noteworthy. Radziwil raises important questions about an important part of th...
Article
What is relevancy? What is the principle of relevancy? I had to face these questions because some years ago I began to revise the first volume of [John Henry] Wigmore's treatise on evidence. I decided that somewhere in the notes and in the text I should both tell the reader about the literature on relevancy in the last 40 years or so and give the r...
Article
Two or three years ago I began searching the internet in earnest for insights into evidence in litigation. (I admit it: I am an internet addict!) I quickly discovered that there is a large number of people in AI and in related fields who are actively discussing, debating, and exploring matters such as uncertain inference; decision making under unce...

Citations

... Despite an extensive literature on the issue of probabilistic fallacies, many publications, and the consensus within the statistics community on the means of understanding and avoiding them, probabilistic fallacies continue to proliferate in legal arguments (Fenton & Neil, 2011). Bayes's Theorem provides the definitive explanation for the fallacy; however, as scholars (Tillers, 2007) have pointed out, the usual Bayesian formulation is extremely difficult for non-scholars and lay persons such as jurors to grasp. Hence, it behooves the correctional psychologist who conducts risk appraisals and testifies as an expert in courts of law to be familiar with the basic tenets of Bayes's Theorem, which may be summarised in the following manner: any belief at Time 1 about the uncertainty of some event A occurring at some point in the future is assumed to be provisional upon information or data gained prior to Time 1. Hence, the prior probability assumed about event A is then updated by new experience or data to provide a revised belief about the uncertainty, or posterior probability, of the event B, written P(A|B) ( Constantinou et al., 2016). ...
... Although many of Tribe's concerns have long been systematically demolished in (Edwards, 1991;Koehler, 1992) and more recently in (Berger, 2014;Tillers and Gottfried, 2007), the arguments against are far less well known among legal professionals than those in favour. ...
... This is the interpretation naturally suggested by Colyvan, Regan, and Ferson (2001) and rejected as unrealistically idealistic by Tillers (2005). There are two ways to develop the thought that equality of standing or respect entitles individuals to be free from extra burden, and I find both plausible. ...
... Second, coherence also enters into the process of generation through a number of marshalling mechanisms. As Schum and Tillers have argued, the success that we enjoy in generating important new hypotheses and discovering new evidence depends to a great extent upon how well we have marshaled or organized the evidence we have (Schum and Tillers 1991; Schum 1999). Successful inquiry is first and foremost an exercise of interrogation (Sintonen and Kikeri 2004, 227-233). ...
... Here, a negative personal fact (the prior conviction) is assigned exaggerated importance when judging a personal feature (credibility as witness). The rich literature on this effect includes Davies (1991), Tillers (1997), Cook, Marsh & Hicks (2003), Hunt & Budsheim (2004), Walton (2006), and Redmayne (2015). ...
... The forensic community and a growing number of lawyers seem to agree that Bayes' theorem offers a logical and transparent solution for interpreting the criminalist's observations and transposing their conclusions for the court of justice [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]. If its logic was defended as early as 1904 by the mathematician Henri Poincar e during the second revision of the Dreyfus case [24], Finkelstein and Fairley supported its mathematization in the United States of America during the People vs Collins case in 1968 [25]. ...
... There is a lively and current line of academic literature that argues that IBE should supplant probabilistic reasoning in legal fact-finding. This literature provides a nuanced and rich set of arguments that complement the related conclusions in Re A. An informal introduction to the debate can be found in Park et al (2010). Formally developed arguments for IBE in fact-finding are found in Allen and Pardo (2019b) and Allen and Stein (2013). ...
... For this reason, two of these five case studies (Bex and Prakken) make use of visualization techniques to make their analyses more understandable, while Fenton et al. claim that the "powerful" visual appeal of Bayesian networks makes them potentially natural in legal contexts. This highlights the issue of whether the use of visualization techniques, possibly supported by software, can improve legal evidential reasoning (Tillers, 2007). ...
... Example of FM representation: Tillers (2007) used scenarios to describe events in the field of legal investigation and proof. "An investigator's purpose in forming scenarios is akin to, but not the same as, a fiction writer's objective in doing so. ...
... Notwithstanding the fact thatscholars such and William Twining [3], Peter Tiller [4], David Schum [5], Mike Redmayne [6], John Jackson [7], Kọ́lá Abímbọ́lá [8], and many others, who fall roughly within "the New Evidence Scholarship" School [9] now focus on proof, not enough has been done on the nature of forensic inference itself. In particular, the manner in which different inferences combine to facilitate the process of reasoning in forensic contexts is often left out. ...