Subject:

- Pro death penalty articles pdf to excel
- Statistics and Error Rates in Death Penalty Cases
- Understanding Americans' Support for the Death Penalty
- Part 3: Trends in the Death Penalty
- Downloadable Checklists And Worksheets
- What is DPIC’s stance on the death penalty?
- George Carlin - Death Penalty
- Related Topics Include:

In this activity, students explore calculations with simple rates and proportions, and basic time series data, in the context of news coverage of an important statistical study.

Reports of the study in various newspapers and magazines fueled public debate about capital punishment.

## Pro death penalty articles pdf to excel

Students learn that when data presentations are drawn from popular media accounts, as opposed to standard statistical reports or textbook presentations, additional critical reading and thinking skills are required.

This is an interactive lecture activity, with in-class discussion.

In its most basic form, it is appropriate for an algebra-based introductory statistics class or a quantitative reasoning class following the introduction of basic descriptive statistics, including proportions and time series plots. Followup questions can be developed for more advanced classes. At a brisk pace, covering just the basic calculations, the activity can be covered in about half a class period minutes for set up and group discussion, 10 minutes for wrap-up.

## Statistics and Error Rates in Death Penalty Cases

At a more leisurely pace, leaving time for side discussions, it could easily expand to a full period. I provide a handout summarizing the news sources, as described above, along with the following discussion questions. In small groups, the students respond to the questions.

We then reassemble the whole class to clear up any misunderstandings and to pool insights. To make the activity authentic, I like to provide newspaper clippings or printed excerpts. The graphics included here are my Excel reconstructions of the originals I even tried to match the color scheme from the Economist. The articles referenced the Liebman report, and I found the raw data in the Appendices there:.

I count activities like this as part of a classroom participation grade. Each group designates a recorder, who turns in a brief summary of the group's discussion at the end of class.

## Understanding Americans' Support for the Death Penalty

I also expect active participation in discussion when the class reconvenes as a whole to pool insights. For a homework exercise, I ask students to create their own versions of the graphs and summary statistics, in a way that avoids the points of confusion identified in class.

In courses that use journaling, I ask for individual responses to the activity their journals. In a writing-based first-year seminar course, one of my favorite assignments ask students to write critiques of three data graphics that they have culled from media reports the only ground rule is that at most one can come from USA Today! Your Account.

Summary In this activity, students explore calculations with simple rates and proportions, and basic time series data, in the context of news coverage of an important statistical study.

## Part 3: Trends in the Death Penalty

In the course of the activity, students will see how to construct a simple tree diagram for computing proportions in two stages pay attention to the numerator and denominator of a rate in context estimate rate of change and average values on a linear time series plot understand some pitfalls of using a double y-axis plot.

Justice: Study finds courts void execution more than two-thirds of the time. Later federal review discovered 'serious error' The British journal The Economist published a series of articles on America's death penalty. So the 87 people exonerated after being sentenced to death amount to one reprieve for every seven killed.

If an airline crashed once for every time it reached its destination, it would surely be suspended immediately. And late acquittals are increasing.

Between and , an average of 2. In the six years after that, the rate nearly doubled to 4. But is it?

Does the following graphic, reproduced from from the Los Angeles Times article, shed any light on the matter? Show LA Times graphic. Show Economist graphic.

## Downloadable Checklists And Worksheets

Notes on News Sources To make the activity authentic, I like to provide newspaper clippings or printed excerpts. Students can usually do this quickly.

Computing a proportion is straightforward, but the one-in-seven figure is midleading. Sensible ratios might be the number of innocent defendants sentenced to death divided by the total number sentenced, or, more dramatically, the number of innocent people executed divided by the total number of executions. The one-in-seven figure is a mismatch of numerator and denominator: it divides the number of people released from death row by the number of executions. The time series from the LA TImes shows that the death row population grew approximately linearly over the study period.

This makes it easy to estimate the average death row population from to approx and from to approx Since the population roughly doubled, with a constant error rate we would expect the number of errors to double.

## What is DPIC’s stance on the death penalty?

Students typically figure out that the total death row population matters. With some prodding, they understand how to estimate the value average of a linear function over different time periods.

Double-y axis plots are notoriously misleading, because there are two separate scales. Nevertheless, Excel's Chart Wizard touts them as a "Classic comparison chart. Lines plotted on two axes. With some discussion, students realize that by tweaking the scales, one can make two variables look either highly correlated or nearly independent!

Liebman, James S. Columbia University School of Law.

## George Carlin - Death Penalty

The original study to which the various news items refer. From the Wall Street Journal , referenced at Junkscience. Interesting comments relevant to the second discussion question above.

From the Death Penalty Information Center , where you can also find links to current news stories on this issue. Lesson plans for possible two-week unit at the high school level.

## Related Topics Include:

Lesser, Lawrence M. See section 3. Why Use Cooperative Learning?