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Larkin has made case for not having amnesty

JOHN Larkin says the prospects of terrorist convictions are decreasing "exponentially" as the years pass. If this is true, it is an argument against granting an amnesty now.

If tossing coins, the chance of consecutive heads reduces exponentially. The chance of one head is one-in-two. The chance of two consecutive heads is one-in-four. The chance of three is one-in-eight. As the number of coin tosses increases, the rate of decline of the chance of consecutive heads reduces – that is what "exponential" means when something is shrinking.

So, if the prospect of a conviction for a terrorist atrocity in the 1970s has been decreasing exponentially since 1998, that means it will diminish much less over the next 15 years than it has done over the past 15 years.

So, if the prospects of a conviction are diminishing ever-more slowly (not more quickly), why grant an amnesty?

DOMINIC RAYNER

Leeds

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