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April 27, 2005

Computer program suggests arbitrariness of death penalty

The Christian Science Monitor has this interesting article about a computer software program used to study and predict which defendants among those sentenced to death actually get executed.  The program apparently was able to effectively predict execution outcomes without details about the committed crimes; the program only considered "facts such as age, race, sex, and marital status [of the death row defendant], along with the date and type of offense."  Explains the article:

The implication, says Dee Wood Harper, one of the researchers and a professor of criminal justice at Loyola University in New Orleans, is that "if this mindless software can determine who is going to die and who is not going to die, then there's some arbitrariness here in the [United States justice] system."

I wonder what HAL-9000 might think about this study (or about a colleague being called "mindless").

April 27, 2005 at 01:16 AM | Permalink

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The REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM of the proposition that a computer determination of who should be subject to the death-penalty is arbitrary and, therfore, mindless is that, then, the solution of a complex mathematical problem by a computer-program must also be arbitrary and mindless. Rather than using such rhetoric, I think the commentator should make the more modest proposal that, when it comes to deciding who should be subject to the death-penalty, there are factors that cannot be reduced to the calculation of a machine.... What I suspect, however, is that the commentator is against the death-penalty, regardless of what ANY rational analysis can show.

Posted by: donald v. morano | Apr 27, 2005 9:56:16 AM

The article states that the study took into account the following factors: "age, race, sex, and marital status [of the death row defendant], along with the date and type of offense." It seems to me that the date and type of offense are potentially legitimate factors that should help to determine whether a defendant is sentenced to death. The others clearly are not legitimate factors (unless you consider extreme youth or old age a mitigating factor). I wonder how accurately the program would predict executions if the date and type of offense were not supplied.

As far as whether the study proves "arbitrariness" in the system, I am more disturbed by the prospect that it shows a LACK of arbitrariness -- to the contrary, a marked and arguably intentional tendency to execute, say, young black men more commonly than, say, middle-aged white women convicted of the same offense.

Posted by: Sarah | Apr 27, 2005 1:07:54 PM

Follow-up to my previous comment:

The article states: "Although the research is in its early stages, Harper and his colleague Stamos Karamouzis plan to refine the data group and gradually remove variables until the neural network loses its ability to predict and the most significant factors become apparent."

Hopefully they will start by removing the "type of case" variable, reducing the information available to the program solely to factors that nearly anyone would agree are not legitimate bases for making sentencing (or execution) decisions.

Posted by: Sarah | Apr 27, 2005 1:11:09 PM

iam an LLM student with the university of luton.

what reforms could you recommend to criminal justice to cover computer crime

Posted by: masimba mavaza | May 11, 2005 11:58:12 AM

iam an LLM student with the university of luton.

what reforms could you recommend to criminal justice to cover computer crime

Posted by: masimba mavaza | May 11, 2005 11:58:12 AM

iam an LLM student with the university of luton.

what reforms could you recommend to criminal justice to cover computer crime

Posted by: masimba mavaza | May 11, 2005 11:58:33 AM

computer crime is the most difficult crime to investigate and to curb. it varies from small petty crimes to serious money laundering schemes. if the crimes are to be left uncurbed the economies of many countries will be in the hands of criminals.drug dealers have found a better way of cleansing their monies throuigh computers and the net . this is normaly done through bogus companies who advertise through y7our emails to be offering some global transferes . if these are not checked then we will have a crime infested world. computers in the hands of wrong people will be a pain on the wrong side of the body.masimba mavaza llm commercial law university of luton

Posted by: masimba mavaza | Nov 17, 2005 12:20:53 PM

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW SWAZILAND LLM CRIME SD LLM COMMERCIAL LAW LUTON
COMPUTER CRIME
THIS IS A CRIME DONE USING A COMPUTER.THIS INCLUDES OFFENCES AGAINST THE CONFIDENTIALITY,ITEGRITY, ANDAVAILABILITY OF COMPUTER DATA AND SYSTEMS.AMONG OTHER THINGS IT INCLUDESILLEGAL ACCESS ILLEGAL INTERCEPTION,AND DATA INTERFERENCE SYSTEM AND MISSUSE DEVICE.IT STRETCHES TO FORGERY AND FRAUD MURDER HACKING AND CRACKING.THE MOST HORRENDOUS IS THE CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND INFRINGEMENT OF COPY RIGHTSLEGISLATION AT THE MOMENT DOES NOT ADEQUETLY COVER COMPUTER CRIMES. THIS COULD BE THE CATALIST TO THE MASHROOMING OF THE COMPUTER CRIMES WHICH HAS COSTED ENGLAND BILLIONS OF POUNDS .THERE MUST BE A STRONG FORCE TO PUSH REFORMS IN THE COMPUTER LAWS WHICH WILL COVER JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES AND THE NATURE OF CRIMES. LAWS MUST BE ADJUSTED TO BLANKET THE TECHNICALITIES WHICH ARE HIDDEN IN THE COMPUTER AREASTHE EXTRADITION TREATIES MUST BE ENFORCED IN ORDER TO GIVE THE ARM OF JUSTICE A LONG LEEWAY.IT IS INDEED TRUE TO SAY THE CURRENT LAW IS BEGGING FOR REFORM. MORE COMMENTS ARE INVITED

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Nov 18, 2005 5:40:48 AM

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW SWAZILAND LLM CRIME SD LLM COMMERCIAL LAW LUTON
COMPUTER CRIME
THIS IS A CRIME DONE USING A COMPUTER.THIS INCLUDES OFFENCES AGAINST THE CONFIDENTIALITY,ITEGRITY, ANDAVAILABILITY OF COMPUTER DATA AND SYSTEMS.AMONG OTHER THINGS IT INCLUDESILLEGAL ACCESS ILLEGAL INTERCEPTION,AND DATA INTERFERENCE SYSTEM AND MISSUSE DEVICE.IT STRETCHES TO FORGERY AND FRAUD MURDER HACKING AND CRACKING.THE MOST HORRENDOUS IS THE CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND INFRINGEMENT OF COPY RIGHTSLEGISLATION AT THE MOMENT DOES NOT ADEQUETLY COVER COMPUTER CRIMES. THIS COULD BE THE CATALIST TO THE MASHROOMING OF THE COMPUTER CRIMES WHICH HAS COSTED ENGLAND BILLIONS OF POUNDS .THERE MUST BE A STRONG FORCE TO PUSH REFORMS IN THE COMPUTER LAWS WHICH WILL COVER JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES AND THE NATURE OF CRIMES. LAWS MUST BE ADJUSTED TO BLANKET THE TECHNICALITIES WHICH ARE HIDDEN IN THE COMPUTER AREASTHE EXTRADITION TREATIES MUST BE ENFORCED IN ORDER TO GIVE THE ARM OF JUSTICE A LONG LEEWAY.IT IS INDEED TRUE TO SAY THE CURRENT LAW IS BEGGING FOR REFORM. MORE COMMENTS ARE INVITED

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Nov 18, 2005 5:41:44 AM

THE PUBLICATION OF CRIMINAL CASES AND NAMING SUSPECTS BEFORE CONVICYION IS IT FAIR?

Posted by: | Jun 28, 2006 9:46:25 AM

THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER HAS CAUSED SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO THE CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN IN DIASPORA. THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION IS MOSTLY PRONOUNCED IN THE CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRIES. MOST OF THEM HAVE LOST THEIR IDENTITY, THE SITUATION HAS PLUNGED THE WHOLE FUTURE GENERATION INTO A SERIOUS IDENTITY CRISIS. THESE YOUNGSTERS HAVE NO TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR LAND THEIR SEA AND THEIR BACKGROUND.THEIR FUTURE IS DECIDED IN DIASPORA BUT THEIR INPUT IS NONE EXISTENT.THEY WILL LOOSE THEIR LANGUAGE THEIR VALUES AND THEIR DIGNITY. A SPECIAL RESEARCH IS NEEDE TO SOLVE THE TIME BOMB BEFORE IT EXPLODES. CHILDREN BORN AWAY FROM THEIR ROOTE ARE ROOTLESS AND THEY NEED ROOTS.THEY ARE THROWN IN A SOCIAL DROUGHT WHERE THE CULTURE IS STRANGE AND THEY HAVE FAILED TO CREATE WAVES.A SPECIAL ANALYSIS HAS TO BE DONE ON THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN BORN ABROAD. WILL THEY FIT IN THE SOCIETY THEY ARE BROUGHT UP IN OR WILL THEY BECOME SOCIAL OUTFITS.WHAT IS THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION ON CULTURES AND CHILDREN BORN IN DIASPORA,

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW UNIVERSITY OF SWAZILAND MASTERS OF COMMERCIAL LAW LUTON CERT IN DEL L DUNSTABLE MASTERS OF CRIMINAL LAW WTS MWMBER OF THE OISC ENGLAND

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Jan 30, 2007 6:34:12 PM

THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER HAS CAUSED SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO THE CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN IN DIASPORA. THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION IS MOSTLY PRONOUNCED IN THE CHILDREN WHO ARE BORN OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRIES. MOST OF THEM HAVE LOST THEIR IDENTITY, THE SITUATION HAS PLUNGED THE WHOLE FUTURE GENERATION INTO A SERIOUS IDENTITY CRISIS. THESE YOUNGSTERS HAVE NO TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR LAND THEIR SEA AND THEIR BACKGROUND.THEIR FUTURE IS DECIDED IN DIASPORA BUT THEIR INPUT IS NONE EXISTENT.THEY WILL LOOSE THEIR LANGUAGE THEIR VALUES AND THEIR DIGNITY. A SPECIAL RESEARCH IS NEEDE TO SOLVE THE TIME BOMB BEFORE IT EXPLODES. CHILDREN BORN AWAY FROM THEIR ROOTE ARE ROOTLESS AND THEY NEED ROOTS.THEY ARE THROWN IN A SOCIAL DROUGHT WHERE THE CULTURE IS STRANGE AND THEY HAVE FAILED TO CREATE WAVES.A SPECIAL ANALYSIS HAS TO BE DONE ON THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN BORN ABROAD. WILL THEY FIT IN THE SOCIETY THEY ARE BROUGHT UP IN OR WILL THEY BECOME SOCIAL OUTFITS.WHAT IS THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION ON CULTURES AND CHILDREN BORN IN DIASPORA,

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW UNIVERSITY OF SWAZILAND MASTERS OF COMMERCIAL LAW LUTON CERT IN DEL L DUNSTABLE MASTERS OF CRIMINAL LAW WTS MWMBER OF THE OISC ENGLAND

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Jan 30, 2007 6:34:12 PM

SHALL WE DISCUSS THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION ON CULTURES AND NATIONALISM.

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Jan 30, 2007 6:36:49 PM

THE EFFECTS OF MIGRATION ON CHILDREN AND ITS IMPACT ON CULTURES.

THE WORLD HAS BECOME A VILLAGE AND THE CULTURAL BARRIERS HAVE BEEN BROCKEN. WILL OUR CHILDREN HAVE ANY BRIGHT FUTURE IN THIS WORLD. YOUR ARTICLES PLEASE.

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Mar 19, 2007 11:39:38 AM

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW SWAZILAND.LLM CRIMINAL WITS LLM COMMERCIAL LUTON UNIVERSITY PHD BEDFORDSHIRE MEMBER OF THE OISC , IMMIGRATION ADVISOR REGULATED BY THE OISC ENGLAND. MEMBER OF ILEX

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Apr 18, 2007 11:53:16 AM

MASIMBA MAVAZA BA LAW SWAZILAND.LLM CRIMINAL WITS LLM COMMERCIAL LUTON UNIVERSITY PHD BEDFORDSHIRE MEMBER OF THE OISC , IMMIGRATION ADVISOR REGULATED BY THE OISC ENGLAND. MEMBER OF ILEX

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Apr 18, 2007 11:53:19 AM

READ MASIMBA MAVAZA'S BOOK ON COMPUTER CRIME AND SENTENCING. THIS BOOK SETS OUT THE DIFFICULTIES IN JURISDICTION OF MATTERS COMMITTED IN DIFFERENT JURISDICTIONS BUT PERPERTUATED IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION. THESE JURISDICTIONAL ISSUES ARE COMPLICATED AND CALLS FOR A LEAGUE OF NATIONS TO TACKLE THEM. THIS IS A BOOK BASED ON THE BRITISH SYSTEM ONCOMPUTOR LAW AND PHYSHING. MASIMBA MAVAZA IS A LAWYER AND REGULATED BY THE OFFICE OF THE IMMIGRATION SERVICE COMMISSION.

Posted by: MASIMBA MAVAZA | Jun 2, 2007 4:29:17 AM

the computer law

Posted by: dr masimba mavaza | May 5, 2008 8:31:38 AM

DR MASIMBA MAVAZA PHD IS AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER REGULATED BY THE OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION COMMISSION OISC,

HOW CAN COMPUTER LAW BE USED TO HELP THE OPPRESSED BEARING IN MIND THAT THE OPPRESSED HAVE NO MONEY TO OWN A COMPUTER.

Posted by: dr masimba mavaza | May 7, 2008 6:14:38 PM

more awareness/education to consumers of computer output & usage through the national media especially terrestial TV which accesed by a larger population.

Posted by: andrew gcwalisa | Jul 7, 2008 8:30:56 AM

dell xd187 battery

Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 9:45:21 AM

THIS DR MASIMBA MAVAZA SOUNDS BOGUS TO ME,IF INDEED HE IS A QUALIFIED DOCTOR IN LAW, HOW COME HIS ENGLISH IS SO POOR,AND HIS GRAMMAR SO ATROCIOUS.WHERE IS THIS BOOK HE CLAIMS TO HAVE WRITTEN?WHO PUBLISHED IT?WHICH OUTLETS ARE SELLING IT?........WHY DO I SMMELL A RAT? I HAVE CHECKED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF SWAZILAND,THEY HAVE NO SUCH PERSON IN THEIR RECORDS, WHO GRADUATED WITH A LAW DEGREEE.......I SMELL A RAT INDEED

Posted by: chirimuta | Apr 18, 2009 5:38:24 AM

Dr Masimba Mavaza is not Bogus. His english may be poor because in Zimbabwe most public schools do not prioritise english communication. A lot of graduates with poor english communication skills are produced. I am one of them and am still trying hard to improve my english.

Dr Masimba is close to me and I can assure the world that he did a law degree in Swaziland,a masters and a Phd while in the UK. He practised as a lawyer in Zimbabwe. He might have done some wrong things but he surely is a lawyer.

Anyway, he is so handsome. I wont be surprised most of these people are disgruntled ladies who failed to win his attention. He is hated by many and loved by some. We as his family, we know and love him.

Go to hell people

Posted by: Hazy | Oct 8, 2009 5:44:48 AM

my dear ,if you were as close to Masimba Mavaza as you claim to be, you would be praying for him to free himself from the web and demon of living a lie.He never did law in Swaziland!He fled from that country in disgrace!He surfaced in Zimbabwe, cheated his way into the Ministry of Justice, before they fired him for corruption.He was then arrested for "masquerading as a lawyer", convicted and given a suspended sentence. When they arrested him again for the same offence, Masimba Mavaza fled (AGAIN) to the U.K,and overnight claimed that he had MASTERS DEGREE AND A PHD friom either Witswatersrand, or Canada or Luton , or Oxford. In the meantime, he is collecting peoples Home Office fees and lying to them that their "papers are ON THE WAY"
from his office at the Home Office.Some say God has alresdy punished him because although he looks handsome(TO YOU) AND CLEVER, HIS HEALTH HAS GOT THE BETTER OF HIM

Posted by: VICTIM | Nov 4, 2009 6:06:18 AM

come on lady,that Masimba Mavaza is a national shame(not shrine) How can you steal from your own relatives, church mates,friends, clients etc.At the end of it all, he claims to be NOT JUST A LAWYER, BUT AN ELDER AT THE CHURCH(IN WHICH CHURCH YOU WILL FIND SOME OF HIS VICTIMS) HOW CAN YOU BE SO SIMPLE AS TO THINK THAT MASIMBA MAVAZA'S CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE IS NOTHING MORE THAT SOME DISSAPOINTED GIRLS WHO ARE AFTER HIM.iF YOU REALLY LOVE HIM AS YOU CLAIM.... sit down with him and save Mavaza the widespread shame which he has brought upon himself and poor wife.Englang has opportunities for everybody, and you dont have to put on a suit and PRETEND TO BE THIS AND THAT , to put food on the table.If he really wants to be a lawyer, HOW ABOUT SIMPLY ENROLLING AT A LAW SCHOOL AND BECOMING ONE.ITS SO SIMPLE TO BE A REAL GRADUATE(WELL, A BIT HARD TO BE A DOCTOR , I ADMIT!)

Posted by: i agree | Nov 4, 2009 6:17:05 AM

HA HA HA, I KNOW THE GUY, A LAWYER? SINCE WHEN. IS HE STILL DOING THAT ONE.? Masimba mavaza, please change. for once! By the way, i am from Zimbabwe. all our Graduates speak immaculate English, we were collonised by the Queen, and at independance, we benefitted from an ambitious government push for education. Maybe Masimba Mavaza was in Swaziland then, and he missed out on the system in Zimbabwe. so pliz guys understand!

Posted by: ha ha ha i know the GUY | Nov 4, 2009 6:23:19 AM

Dear people

Please stop abusing this space it is not for fighting your country's wars and grudges. This space is meant to assist and help people who are in the law field. The fight between you and Dr Masimba Mavaza is not helping anyone. Dr Masimba Mavaza is a respected member of this blog. We have confirmed his qualifications and they are real. Please note we reserve the right to report those who try again to abuse this blog for the purpose of malice and contempt. We beleive Zimbabweans to be very gentle people who resolve their cases by talking to each other. this section will not be used for this again. consider this as a warning for we will not hesitate to report any abuser of this blog to your jurisdictional police.

Posted by: dr mathews gony | Nov 17, 2009 2:19:34 PM

What has been happening here is a good example of computer crime and total abuse of the web.DR Masimba Mavaza has been dragged in unneccessary mud by people who think that they are good in English. Please consider the purpose of this blog and do not post malicious damaging comments. I HAVE NOTED WITH GREAT DISAPOINTMENT THAT ALL THE ABUSERS ARE FROM ZIMBAMBWE. That is pathetic

Posted by: joseph chiustino | Nov 17, 2009 2:25:47 PM

i had the rare chance of meeting dr masimba mavaza in englad at the swearing in ceremony where he was appointed justice of peace of england and wales. congratulations dr mavaza God bless you

Posted by: joseph chiustino | Dec 15, 2009 3:34:25 PM

i have followed the Dr Mavaza debate with keen interest, i mean its not everyday that one's Doctorate is quizzed on line. Maybe he is, maybe not. What i find strange though are the recent threats to report people who opinionate on the matter to the police.On what basis does this become a criminal matter? If a person claims t have certan qualifications, and nails his claim to a mast,surely peole have a right to challenge his credentials? If the doctor has paraded himself on YOUR BLOGG AND In THE PUBLIC COURT OF OPINION,the public do have a right to challenge him in the same domain!If i recall well, the debate started with a direct challenge on the Dr's command of English(well, lawyers are naturally expected to be eloquent, since language and words are their tools of trade)The defence raised in his favour was that he is handsome and the female world is conspiring against him...talk about HOW NOT TO DEFEND ONE'S SELF.
And now someone claiming to be the blogg owner claims to have verified the Dr's credentials. How did you do that, by the way?. How about telling the doubters which university the Dr
graduated from.Where did he do Law?

Posted by: allan | Dec 23, 2009 3:39:13 PM

Is Doctor Mavaza now a magistrate?. To many, this may sound nothing more than a cheap dummy to divert attention from what could be a juicy topic .i.e DO WE HAVE A FAKE DOCTOR AT LAW IN OUR JURISDICTION. If he is now a magistrate, doesn't it become all the more interesting that a Justice of the peace is said not to have the qualifications he claims. Maybe its not a bad idea to bring the police in after all!We deserve to know what people preside in our courts, and i manywill think that magistrates are spposed to be above reproach!How come of all the proffessionals on your blogg, this one'e credentials are doubted this much?
By the way, is it true that magistrates in the u.k are just volunteers wo are required to sit for at least 4 hour per year? Is it true that no legal qualification is required for this voluntary job.(i hope i will not be arrested for asking this much)

Posted by: allan | Dec 23, 2009 3:52:51 PM

MY NAME IS JOSEPH CHIUSTINO. I HAVE NO COMMENT

Posted by: joseph chiustino | Feb 20, 2010 4:42:07 PM

Masimba Mavaza is a professional crook, till he knocks on your door and ruin your life, then you can know who people are talking about. He is a merciless and habitual liar who uses God's name to formulate and workout his con business. He is really evil, guys and there is no joke about it, believe me.Its sad that some people still believe and support Lucifer - sad!His doctrine is not a big issue but his deeds, he targets the vulnerable and ruin their lives.He is scary,l dot wanna see his shadow.He makes me sick.He is a sickened bastard.

Posted by: Loice | Oct 14, 2010 6:56:00 PM

Please if you were conned by Mavaza contact me on the above email.

Posted by: Sithabile Ncube | Jun 17, 2011 10:01:09 AM

Am surprised some of you claim not to know that Masimba is a lwayer..come on ..fellas, check with your courts in Zim. Masimba was even a prosecutor in Zim, cant remember that high profile case of a foreign doctor who killed his patients. It is naive to go about rubbishing some one's name. Who really cares about spellings and grammar in internet chatroom and discussion forums??

Posted by: Jimmy Malunga Chasafara | Jul 4, 2011 7:01:39 AM

The Christian Science Monitor reports that a computer program designed by a team of criminologists and computer scientists is able to predict the outcome of death penalty cases with better than 90% accuracy. The program considers no law or legally significant facts in making its assessment, instead basing its analysis entirely on factors such as age, race, sex, and marital status of the offender and the date and type of offense.

Posted by: cheapest used computer | Sep 4, 2011 10:46:30 AM

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