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An Argument Against Presenting Interval Quantifications as a Surrogate for the Value of Evidence

NCJ Number
Science & Justice Volume: 56 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2016 Pages: 383-387
Danica M. Ommen; Christopher P. Saunders; Cedric Neumann
Date Published
September 2016
5 pages
In this article, the authors argue that interval quantifications for the value of evidence should not be used directly in the Bayesian decision-making process to determine the support of the evidence for one of two competing hypotheses.

In the various forensic science disciplines, recent analytical developments paired with modern statistical computational tools have led to the proliferation of ad hoc techniques for quantifying the probative value of forensic evidence. Many legal and scientific scholars agree that the value of evidence should be reported as a likelihood ratio or a Bayes Factor. Quantifying the probative value of forensic evidence is subjected to many sources of variability and uncertainty. There is currently a debate on how to characterize the reliability of the value of evidence. Some authors have proposed associating a confidence/credible interval with the value of evidence assigned to a collection of forensic evidence. (publisher abstract modified)