This is a book on the interpretation of evidence aimed at lawyers and
Bernard Robertson and G A Vignaux,
Interpreting Evidence: Evaluating Forensic Science in the
John Wiley and Sons, 1995, 240+xxi pp. ISBN
- Explains the Bayesian approach to analysis of forensic
- Is written in plain language with minimal mathematics
- Analyses real cases from the Law Reports rather than
- Introduction --
Two Principles. Bertillonage or anthropometry. Requirements for
forensic scientific evidence and its reliability.
Scientific Evidence -- Relevance and probative value. The
likelihood ratio and Bayes's Rule. Admissibility and relevance, Case
- The Alternative hypothesis --
Which alternative hypothesis? Exclusive, exhaustive and multiple
hypotheses. Immigration and paternity cases. The "It was my
brother" defence. Marks at the scene and marks on the suspect. Hypothetical
questions. Pre-trial conferences and defence notice. Case studies.
- Explaining the strength of Evidence -- explaining the
likelihood ratio. Words instead of numbers? Problems with the
likelihood ratio. The ultimate issue rule.
- The Case as a Whole --
Combining evidence. Combinations of uncertain evidence. Issues in the
case. The standard of proof and the cost of errors. Assessing
priors. the defence hypothesis and the prior odds. Case studies.
- Errors of Thinking --
A brace of lawyers' fallacies. Double-counting evidence? the accuracy
and reliability of scientific evidence. Case studies.
- Classical Statistics and Database Matching --
- Transfer evidence --
- Blood and DNA Evidence --
- Other Scientific Evidence --
- Implications for the Legal System --
What is expert evidence? Who is an expert? What
is a science? The Frye Test. The end of the Frye test --
Daubert v Merrell Dow
- Conclusion --
- Appendix: Probability, Odds and Bayes' Rule --