Legal and Statistical Aspects of Some Mysterious Clusters
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, Vol. 154, Part 1, pp. 61-74, 1991
15 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 12 May 2016
Date Written: April 1, 1990
Criminal and civil trials often involve events that appear to cluster together in time or space, and the existence and size of the cluster often is interpreted as implying that the occurrence of the events could not be a coincidence. This paper examines the statistical evidence introduced in several cases to show how such mysterious clusters should be interpreted. The paper considers this form of evidence in the context of legal views on the admissibility of evidence about 'similar events', and it suggests a more formal statistical argument that might be used to justify admissibility in one category of cases.
Keywords: clusters of events, latent variables, evidence of similar events, statistical testimony
JEL Classification: C1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation