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Assessment of forensic findings when alternative explanations have different likelihoods—“Blame-the-brother”-syndrome
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Statistics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Statens Kriminaltekniska Laboratorium, Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Molecular genetics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)In: Science & justice, ISSN 1355-0306, Vol. 52, no 4, 226-236 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Assessment of forensic findings with likelihood ratios is for several cases straightforward, but there are a number of situations where contemplation of the alternative explanation to the evidence needs consideration, in particular when it comes to the reporting of the evidentiary strength. The likelihood ratio approach cannot be directly applied to cases where the proposition alternative to the forwarded one is a set of multiple propositions with different likelihoods and different prior probabilities. Here we present a general framework based on the Bayes' factor as the quantitative measure of evidentiary strength from which it can be deduced whether the direct application of a likelihood ratio is reasonable or not. The framework is applied on DNA evidence in forms of an extension to previously published work. With the help of a scale of conclusions we provide a solution to the problem of communicating to the court the evidentiary strength of a DNA match when a close relative to the suspect has a non-negligible prior probability of being the source of the DNA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 52, no 4, 226-236 p.
Keyword [en]
Evidence value, Bayes' factor, Multiple propositions, Scale of conclusions, DNA profiles, Relatives
National Category
Probability Theory and Statistics Law and Society
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79765DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2011.12.001ISI: 000311920000004OAI: diva2:544220
Available from: 2012-08-13 Created: 2012-08-13 Last updated: 2013-01-14

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