As someone once said, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics.” Anyone who has tried a case where statistics are presented to the jury knows how powerful statistics can be. Jurors are generally not versed in statistics and are vulnerable to being misled. Ironically, judges may not be much better at identifying valid statistical analyses as opposed to bogus ones.
In this Criminal Justice column we will look at statistical analysis and its place in the courtroom. We will look at a recent decision of the British Courts and the implications for that type of thinking on American jurisprudence. To the extent that expert witnesses are allowed to give opinions that include a verbal or mathematical opinion of likelihood, the courts will have to deal with the mathematical and scientific basis for such opinions. The alternative, which is to ban those likelihood opinions entirely, might be preferable.
- Baysian rations,
- statistical evidence,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_sanger/24/