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Communicating Probabilistic Forensic Evidence in Court

Forthcoming, In Allan Jamieson & Scott Bader (Eds.). A Guide to Forensic DNA Profiling. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester, UK.

10 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2015  

Date Written: August 18, 2015

Abstract

This chapter examines the different ways that forensic science matches may be characterized at trial and how jurors think about those matches. The focus is on common but erroneous match characterizations, and misconceptions jurors may have about the meaning of a match. There is also discussion about the significance of error rates and how presentation of match statistics affects jurors’ beliefs about the strength of the evidence. A final section counsels forensic scientists to avoid mischaracterizing the strength of match evidence and to be forthcoming about the assumptions behind the statistics they offer.

Keywords: error, fallacy, forensic science, match, random match probability, statistical evidence

Suggested Citation

Koehler, Jonathan J., Communicating Probabilistic Forensic Evidence in Court (August 18, 2015). Forthcoming, In Allan Jamieson & Scott Bader (Eds.). A Guide to Forensic DNA Profiling. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chichester, UK.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2647034

Jonathan J. Koehler (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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