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Episode 40: 2018 IPTES: Just Talking Testimony

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
2 pages

This online audio (podcast) from Episode 40 of the IPTES season of "Just Science" covers the panel discussion on "Statistics and Testimony From the Practitioners and Juror Point of View."


Prior to this panel discussion with questions and comments from the audience, each of the five panel members gave presentations at the symposium. The five panelists were Henry Swofford, Hari lyer, Steven Lund, Chris Fabricant, and Alicia Wilcox. Their separate presentations addressed statistical interpretation and reporting of fingerprint evidence, cross-examinations of testimony with likelihood ratios, and factors that influence jurors' interpretation of the value of forensic science testimony. The discussion in interactions with the audience focuses on how to communicate reliability in expert evidentiary testimony that is both understandable and persuasive to jurors. The testimony should take into account and explain any uncertainties and variables prior to cross-examination. In this way, the strengths and the limitations of a forensic analysis are addressed prior to cross-examination. The intent of such testimony is to explain to jurors that the forensic analyst has taken into account all relevant factors in arriving at the most persuasive conclusion about what the evidence shows.

Date Published: April 1, 2018