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If The Shoe Fits They Might Acquit: The Value Of Forensic Science Testimony, Jonathan Koehler Jan 2011

If The Shoe Fits They Might Acquit: The Value Of Forensic Science Testimony, Jonathan Koehler

Faculty Working Papers

The probative value of forensic science evidence (such as a shoeprint) varies widely depending on how the evidence and hypothesis of interest is characterized. This paper uses a likelihood ratio (LR) approach to identify the probative value of forensic science evidence. It argues that the "evidence" component should be characterized as a "reported match," and that the hypothesis component should be characterized as "the matching person or object is the source of the crime scene sample." This characterization of the LR forces examiners to incorporate risks from sample mix-ups and examiner error into their match statistics. But how will legal ...


Comments On "Getting Scarred And Winning Lotteries: Effects Of Exemplar Cuing And Statistical Format On Imagining Low-Probability Events," By Newell, Mitchell, And Hayes (2008), Jonathan Koehler, Laura Macchi Jan 2009

Comments On "Getting Scarred And Winning Lotteries: Effects Of Exemplar Cuing And Statistical Format On Imagining Low-Probability Events," By Newell, Mitchell, And Hayes (2008), Jonathan Koehler, Laura Macchi

Faculty Working Papers

Newell, Mitchell, and Hayes (NMH) conduct three experiments designed to test whether exemplar cuing (EC) theory or a statistical format theory provides a more accurate account for how people make judgments about low-probability events. They report finding support for the statistical format theory and little or no support for EC. However, NMH misstate the requirements for the production of exemplars in EC theory. As a result, they confuse non-exemplar conditions with exemplar conditions in their experiments, and find results that are virtually irrelevant to EC theory.