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43 Jurimetrics 147 (2002-2003)
Communicating Statistical DNA Evidence

handle is hein.journals/juraba43 and id is 157 raw text is: COMMUNICATING STATISTICAL
Samuel Lindsey*
Ralph Hertwig
Gerd Gigerenzer
ABSTRACT: There is a growing need to present statistical scientific evidence in a form
that judges and jurors can understand and evaluate. After examining statistical issues
surrounding forensic DNA evidence, this article presents research that demonstrates a way
to improve judges' and jurors' understanding of evidence involving probabilities and
CITATION: Samuel Lindsey, Ralph Hertwig, and Gerd Gigerenzer, Communicating
Statistical DNA Evidence, 43 Jurimetrics J. 147-163 (2003).
Advances in forensic science over the last decade are revolutionizing the
possibilities of criminal investigation. In particular, the once controversial use of
DNA analyses to link previously identified suspects to crimes' is being supple-
mented by large databases of the DNA types of convicted offenders or arrestees.2
*Samuel Lindsey is Schlossman Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and
International Criminal Law, GuLnterstalstrasse 73, D-79 100 Freiburg im Br., Germany.
**Ralph Hertwig is Research Scientist, and Gerd Gigerenzer is Director, Max Planck Institute
for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, D - 14195 Berlin, Germany.
1. Christopher Anderson, Academy Approves, Critics Still Cry Foul, 356 NATURE 552 (1992);
Eric S. Lander, DNA Fingerprinting on Trial, 339 NATURE 501 (1989); R.C. Lewontin & Daniel L.
Hartl, Population Genetics in Forensic DNA Typing, 254 SCIENCE 1745 (1991); William C.
Thompson, Evaluating the Admissibility of New Genetic Identification Tests: Lessons from the
DNA War, 84 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 22 (1993).
2. See, e.g., The DNA Identification Act of 1994,42 U.S.C. §§ 3751,3753, 3793, 3797 (1994);
Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984, c. 60, §§ 62, 63, 63A, 64 (Eng.); Fred Barbash, British



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