SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Jury

489

 To determine if exercise therapy is superior to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy for knee function in middle aged patients with degenerative meniscal tears.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Tears, Jury, Tear of meniscus

124

Building on developments in machine learning and prior work in the science of judicial prediction, we construct a model designed to predict the behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States in a generalized, out-of-sample context. To do so, we develop a time-evolving random forest classifier that leverages unique feature engineering to predict more than 240,000 justice votes and 28,000 cases outcomes over nearly two centuries (1816-2015). Using only data available prior to decision, our model outperforms null (baseline) models at both the justice and case level under both parametric and non-parametric tests. Over nearly two centuries, we achieve 70.2% accuracy at the case outcome level and 71.9% at the justice vote level. More recently, over the past century, we outperform an in-sample optimized null model by nearly 5%. Our performance is consistent with, and improves on the general level of prediction demonstrated by prior work; however, our model is distinctive because it can be applied out-of-sample to the entire past and future of the Court, not a single term. Our results represent an important advance for the science of quantitative legal prediction and portend a range of other potential applications.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Future, Prophecy, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Constitution, Jury, Divination

33

India is known as the “pharmacy of the developing world,” because it supplies much of the world’s demand for affordable, generic drugs. So when the Supreme Court of India issued a landmark ruling in April adopting a strict interpretation of the country’s new patent law, advocates for global access to medicines celebrated. In fact, the decision in Novartis v. Union of India & Others provides an important model for other countries around the world - a step toward a “patent law 2.0” that not only helps to ensure access to medicines but might also help better align pharmaceutical innovation with . . .

Concepts: Pharmacology, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Congress, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, Food and Drug Administration, Jury, Public domain

31

In recent decades, social scientists have shown that the reliability of eyewitness identifications is much worse than laypersons tend to believe. Although courts have only recently begun to react to this evidence, the New Jersey judiciary has reformed its jury instructions to notify jurors about the frailties of human memory, the potential for lineup administrators to nudge witnesses towards suspects that they police have already identified, and the advantages of alternative lineup procedures, including blinding of the administrator. This experiment tested the efficacy of New Jersey’s jury instruction. In a 2×2 between-subjects design, mock jurors (N = 335) watched a 35-minute murder trial, wherein identification quality was either “weak” or “strong” and either the New Jersey or a “standard” instruction was delivered. Jurors were more than twice as likely to convict when the standard instruction was used (OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.37-4.89, p < 0.001). The New Jersey instruction, however, did not improve juror's ability to discern quality; rather, jurors receiving those instructions indiscriminatingly discounted "weak" and "strong" testimony in equal measure.

Concepts: Supreme Court of the United States, Law, Jury, Trial, Judge, Court, Jury instructions, Legal procedure

30

The jury trial is a critical point where the state and its citizens come together to define the limits of acceptable behavior. Here we present a large-scale quantitative analysis of trial transcripts from the Old Bailey that reveal a major transition in the nature of this defining moment. By coarse-graining the spoken word testimony into synonym sets and dividing the trials based on indictment, we demonstrate the emergence of semantically distinct violent and nonviolent trial genres. We show that although in the late 18th century the semantic content of trials for violent offenses is functionally indistinguishable from that for nonviolent ones, a long-term, secular trend drives the system toward increasingly clear distinctions between violent and nonviolent acts. We separate this process into the shifting patterns that drive it, determine the relative effects of bureaucratic change and broader cultural shifts, and identify the synonym sets most responsible for the eventual genre distinguishability. This work provides a new window onto the cultural and institutional changes that accompany the monopolization of violence by the state, described in qualitative historical analysis as the civilizing process.

Concepts: Sociology, Semantics, Semantic Web, 18th century, Jury, City of London, Crown Court, Old Bailey

27

We identify five myths of medical malpractice that have wide currency in medical circles. The myths are as follows: (1) Malpractice crises are caused by spikes in medical malpractice litigation (ie, sudden rises in payouts and claim frequency), (2) the tort system delivers “jackpot justice,” (3) physicians are one malpractice verdict away from bankruptcy, (4) physicians move to states that adopt damages caps, and (5) tort reform will lower health-care spending dramatically. We test each assertion against the available empirical evidence on the subject and conclude by identifying various nonmythical problems with the medical malpractice system.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Physician, Jury, Medical malpractice, Tort, Tort law, Non-economic damages caps

23

Health anxiety is an under-recognised but frequent cause of distress that is potentially treatable, but there are few studies in secondary care.

Concepts: Health care, Pharmacology, Medicine, Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Therapy, Illness, Jury

14

13

To improve adherence to physical activity (PA), behavioural support in the form of behavioural change counselling may be necessary. However, limited evidence of the effectiveness of home-based PA combined with counselling in breast cancer patients exists. The aim of this current randomised controlled trial with a parallel group design was to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based PA intervention on PA levels, anthropometric measures, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and blood biomarkers in breast cancer survivors.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Life, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna, Jury

13

We investigated whether expressing anger increases social influence for men, but diminishes social influence for women, during group deliberation. In a deception paradigm, participants believed they were engaged in a computer-mediated mock jury deliberation about a murder case. In actuality, the interaction was scripted. The script included 5 other mock jurors who provided verdicts and comments in support of the verdicts; 4 agreed with the participant and 1 was a “holdout” dissenter. Holdouts expressed their opinions with no emotion, anger, or fear and had either male or female names. Holdouts exerted no influence on participants' opinions when they expressed no emotion or fear. Participants' confidence in their own verdict dropped significantly, however, after male holdouts expressed anger. Yet, anger expression undermined female holdouts: Participants became significantly more confident in their original verdicts after female holdouts expressed anger-even though they were expressing the exact same opinion and emotion as the male holdouts. Mediation analyses revealed that participants drew different inferences from male versus female anger, which created a gender gap in influence during group deliberation. The current study has implications for group decisions in general, and jury deliberations in particular, by suggesting that expressing anger might lead men to gain influence, but women to lose influence over others (even when making identical arguments). These diverging consequences might result in women potentially having less influence on societally important decisions than men, such as jury verdicts. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Gender, Expression, Jury, Anger, Legal terms, Deliberation, Verdict, Hung jury