Koehler on errors in probabilistic reasoning about forensic science evidence

Jonathan J. Koehler has published Forensic Fallacies and a Famous Judge, Jurimetrics Journal, 54, 211–219 (2014).

Here is the abstract:

Probabilistic reasoning in the law is replete with well-documented errors and pitfalls. The errors include the prosecutor and defense attorney fallacies, the transposed conditional, the source probability error, the numerical conversion error, the probability of another match error, the false positive fallacy, the base rate fallacy, selection bias, the individualization fallacy, the fingerprint examiner fallacy, the uniqueness fallacy, the conjunction fallacy, disjunctive errors, the imperfection fallacy, misconceptions of chance, and pseudodiagnosticity. These errors arise most often in cases that include forensic science evidence. Because statistical reasoning can be both complex and counterintuitive (for example, application of Bayes Theorem to conditional probability matters), it is not entirely surprising when jurors and attorneys commit these errors. But it is more surprising, and more damaging to the legal system as a whole, when those we trust to get it right commit and perpetuate those errors.

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