Some Reservations About Likelihood Ratios (and Some Other Aspects of Forensic Bayesianism)

18 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2012  

D. Michael Risinger

Seton Hall University School of Law

Date Written: February 29, 2012

Abstract

This paper is an expansion of a talk given at the 8th International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics in Seattle, July 19, 2011. The focus of the paper is the application of modern Bayesianism in the context of forensic science, as advocated by many in England and Europe. The paper reviews the many aspects of modern Bayesianism that extend well beyond the analytic truth of Bayes’s Theorem, and focuses, among other things, on the limits of what can be accomplished by the invocation of “subjective” probabilities. In a sense, all probabilities are subjective, since they are all mind dependent. However, the important issue in forensic contexts, as in others, is not the subjective nature of invoked probabilities, but the characteristics of the belief warrant to be required for them in different decisional contexts. In the end, I find myself drawn to forensic Bayesianism, but not fully converted.

Keywords: evidence, expert evidence, scientific evidence, Bayesianism, Bayes's Theorem, statistics

Suggested Citation

Risinger, D. Michael, Some Reservations About Likelihood Ratios (and Some Other Aspects of Forensic Bayesianism) (February 29, 2012). Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 2020052. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2020052 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2020052

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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