What Statisticians Can Do for Forensic Science

6 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2012 Last revised: 14 Jun 2012

Date Written: March 5, 2012


This is the text (with a few added footnotes) of an address given to the Young Statistician’s Section of the Royal Statistical Society in London on September 28, 2011. In it I compare the work of Cedric Neumann and his colleagues on fingerprint identification with the work of Mary and Peter Bush and their colleagues on bitemark identification. These illustrate that good statistical modeling of sound data can lend support to the assumptions of some forensic identification disciplines, undermine the tenability of others, and can sometimes lead the way toward new techniques to supplement or replace human judgment with more objective assessments.

Keywords: evidence, statistics, criminal law, fingerprints, bitemarks

JEL Classification: C10, K14, K41

Suggested Citation

Risinger, D. Michael, What Statisticians Can Do for Forensic Science (March 5, 2012). Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 2016577. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2016577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2016577

D. Michael Risinger (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University School of Law ( email )

One Newark Center
Newark, NJ 07102-5210
United States
(973) 642-8834 (Phone)

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