Legal cases involving Bayes

Based on published reports and personal experience, here is a list of cases that we believe have involved 
important discussion and disputes of probabilistic reasoning. This list is a work in progress: if you know of other cases that should be added, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email the site administrator.
Showing 80 items
Case nameYearKey issuesLink to description
Sort 
 
Sort 
 
Sort 
 
Sort 
 
State of Vermont v A Passino  1991 Defendant's database fallacy State of Vermont v A Passino 
MacDaniel v Brown 2010 Prosecutor fallacy, DNA evidence Supreme Court opinion 
Brown v Farwell 2008 Prosecutor fallacy, DNA evidence Blog on case 
R v Sally Clark  2000, 2003 (appeal) Prosecutor fallacy in shaken baby case Royal Statistical Society letter about case 
Michael Pringle v The Queen 2003 Prosecutor fallacy in rape/murder case Case summary 
Smith v HM Advocate 2008 Banknote drug trace evidence  Appeal Court, High Court of Justiciary Decision 
The Guildford Four 1975, 1989 (Appeal) Prosecutor fallacy BBC News article on appeal 
People v. Puckett (No. A121368, Cal. Ct. App., 1st Dist.) 2008 Cold hit DNA match Science and Law blog 
United States of America v Raymond Jenkins 2005?? Cold hit probability Keith Devlin article on cold hit probabilities 
R v London Borough of Croydon (EWHC 1473 (Admin) 2011 Prosecutor fallacy by medical expert in asylum case Judgment on Bailii 
R v Deen (Appeal) 1994 Prosecutor fallacy in rape trial appeal News article 
Dreyfus 1894-1906 Prosecutor's fallacy Dreyfus, 1894-1906 
Wilson v Maryland (Court of Appeals of Maryland, 370 Md 191, 803, A 2d 1034) 2002 Prosecutor fallacy and treating dependant probabilities as independent in SIDS case Prof Peter Tillers commentary 
R v George (EWCA Crim 2722) 2001, 2007 Prosecutor fallacy Court of Appeal judgment, 2007 
People of the State of California v Collins (68 Cal 2d) 1968 Ultimate issue error See Ch. 1 of Korb and Nicholson, Bayesian Artificial Intelligence Vol. 1, (CRC, 2004) 
Commonwealth of Massachussetts v Sacco and Vanzetti  1921  Sacco and Vanzetti 
The Birmingham Six (Appeal) (93 Cr. App. R. 287) 1991 Prosecutor fallacy BBC article 
R v Denis Adams [2 Cr App R 467] 1996 Prosecutor fallacy Judgment on Bailii 
R v Kempster (Appeal) (EWCA Crim 975) 2008 Fallacious belief in possibility of unique earprint match in burglary case appeal Article on case by barrister 
Belhaven and Stenton Peerage Case, 1 App Cas 279 1875 Established precedent for combining different pieces of circumstantial evidence.  Belhaven and Stenton Peerage Case, 1 App Cas 279, 1875 
R v Van Beelen 1973 How to reason about combined evidence Article on the issues in the case 
Janet Birch v University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, EWHC 2237 2008 Incomplete assessment of comparative risks of different treatments Judgment on Bailii 
R v Dallagher (EWCA Crim 1903) 2002 Prosecutor fallacy in earprint case Judgment on Bailii 
R v T (EWCA Crim 2439) 2010 Reliability of probabilistic evidence in shoe marks Judgment on Bailii 
Lucia de Berk 2003, 2010 Correctly assessing probability of a rare event Presentation on case by Prof Richard Gill 
R v Norris 2008 Prosecutor fallacy. Correctly assessing the probability of a rare event BBC News article about case 
State of New Mexico v Joe Sneed 1967 Incorrect probabilistic reasoning/assuming independence of dependent events Appeal court decision 
R v C (EWCA Crim 1607) 2011 Prosecutor's fallacy in rape trial Details of judgment on www.bailii.org 
R v GK NSWCCA 413 2001 Paternity test evidence excluded because of potential prosecutor fallcy Summary of case 
R v Gilfoyle (Appeal against Conviction) (2 Cr.App.R. 5) 2000 Lack of statistical database to underpin expert psychiatric opinion Appeal court decision 
R v Bates (EWCA Crim 1395) 2006 Admissibility of match probability of partial DNA Judgment on Bailii 
R v Robert Watters (Appeal) 2000 Probative value of DNA match evidence in absence of other evidence Judgment on Forensic-Evidence.com 
R v Ronald and Sylvia Benn (EWCA Crim 2100) 2004 reliability of banknote drug trace probability evidence Supreme Court Judgment 
R. v Musa-Gbengba 1997 Appropriateness of a DNA database from which a DNA match probability was drawn  
R v Van Hung Tran (50 A.Crim.R. 233) 1990 Appropriateness of general population DNA database for ethnic minorities in Australia Article: 'DNA: a trial lawyer's persepective' 
R v Compton, Compton and Compton (EWCA Crim 2835) 2002 reliability of drug trace on banknote probability evidence Norman Fenton powerpoint presentation 
R v Docherty (1 Cr. App. R. 274, 276) 1999 Prosecutor fallacy  
Angela Cannings (Appeal) 2003 Mistaken assumption of independent probabilities in SIDS case BBC News article 
State v Skipper (228. Conn 610, 637 A.2d 1101) 1994 Controversy over prior probability given by expert witness in paternity test Article: 'Probability and proof in State v Skipper - an internet exchange' 
R v Dalby (CA 94/2819/W2) 1995 Prosecutor fallacy in rape trial Discussed in M. Redmayne, 'Presenting probabilities in court - the DNA experience' 
People v Castro 545 NY Supp 985 (SC, NY). 1989 Established rules for presentation of DNA evidence in court Discussed in Robertson and Vignaux, ''DNA evidence: wrong answers or wrong questions' 
R v Doheny and Adams (1 Cr App R 369, CA) 1997 Prosecutor fallacy and match probability calculations Discussed in J Ledward, 'Understanding forensic evidence - do lawyers and the judiciary understand forensic evidence and the Bayesian approach?' 
Ross v State of Indiana (Indiana Court of Appeal) 1996 Source probability error Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. v. Carmichael (526 U.S. 137) 1999 Sup Ct (USA) ruling refining the Daubert Rule Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
State of Vermont v T Streich 658 A.2d 38 1995 Source probability error Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
Wike v State (596 So 2nd 1020, Fla S. Ct.) 1992 source probability error Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
Ross v State, B14-90-00659. Tex. App  1992 Numerical conversion error Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Montella (1 NZLR High Court) 1992 Confusing presentation of Bayesian evidence in court Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
U.S. v Jakobetz (955 F. 2d 786 2nd cir. 1992) 1992 Source probability error Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Gordon (1 Cr App R 290) 1995 Prosecutor fallacy Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
US v Llera Plaza 188 F Supp 2nd 549 2002 Admissibility of probabilistic evaluation of fingerprint evidence Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
Re the Paternity of M.J.B. : T.A.T., 144 Wis. 2d 638; 425 N.W. 2d 404 1988 Estimation of prior probability of paternity Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
State of New Jersey v. J.M. Spann, 130 N.J. 484; 617 A. 2d 247 1993 Estimation of prior probability of paternity Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Bellfield 2007 Prosecutor fallacy, base rate fallacy, coincidence fallacy, "Crimewatch UK" fallacy Discussed in Fenton and Martin, 'Avoiding Probabilistic Reasoning Fallacies in Legal Practice using Bayesian Networks' 
R v Splatt 1978 Wrongful conviction of murder because of incorrect interpretation of forensic evidence Text of book by T Mann, Flawed Forensics: The Splatt Case and Stewart Cockburn 
R v O'Doherty (1 Cr. App. R. 5) 2002 Disallowal of auditory forensic evidence as sole means of identification of defendant   
People v. OJ Simpson 1995 Prosecutor fallacy Discussed in Thompson, W.C. (1996). DNA Evidence in the O.J. Simpson Trial, Colorado Law Review, 67 (4), 827-857 
R v Galli [2001] NSWCCA 504 2001 Prosecutor fallacy with DNA evidence Appeal Court Ruling 
Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc (509 US 579) 1993 Supreme Ct (USA) ruling established new rules for admissibility of expert testimony in federal court Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Denis Adams (No 2) (1 Cr App R 377, CA) 1998 Retrial of R v Adams (1996), presentation of Bayesian analysis of DNA evidence to jury Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Karger [2002] SASC 294 2002 Jury must be instructed not to make prosecutor fallacy in Australian DNA cases Appeal judgment 
Latcha v The Queen (1998) 104 A Crim R 390 1998 Established rules for presentation of DNA evidence in Canada Discussed in 2011 paper by Australian District Court judge 
Pantoja (Crim.App. No. 60718 of 1995) 1995 Reliability of DNA database as basis for probability calculations for ethnic minorities in Australia Discussed in article 'Issues in Gathering, Interpreting and Delivering DNA Evidence'by Australian judge 
R v Royston Jackson (EWCA Crim 1870) 2011 Reliability of CCTV and fibre match probability evidence  
R v Kelly Gray (EWCA Crim 3564) 2005 Prosecutor fallacy about DNA evidence in drug trial  
R v Smith CA 9904098 Y3 2000 Failure to consider siblings in DNA match case/ questionable probative value of DNA match evidence  Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
R v Lashley, CA 9903890 2000 When DNA match is only evidence it cannot be said to prove guilt Discussed in Aitken and Taroni, 'Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensic scientists' 
Lapper v R (NZCA 259) 2005 Use of Bayes on DNA evidence  
R v Berry and Wenitong (VSCA 202) 2007 Australian cold hit DNA case Supreme court judgment 
R v Tony Maclean (EWCA Crim 773) 2005 Prosecutor fallacy re DNA evidence in rape case  
R. v Hassett CA 90/3304514/X3  1999 Prosecutor fallacy Discussed in Redmayne, Mike (2001) Expert evidence and criminal justice. Oxford University Press, Oxford.  
R v Charles CA 9800104 z2  1998 Possible prosecutor fallacy over fingerprint evidence Discussed in M. Redmayne, 'Appeals to reason', The Modern Law Review 65:1 (Jan 2002) 
Duffy & Anor, R v [2011] NICC 37 2011 Admissibility of probabilistic method of interpreting DNA evidence Judgment on Bailii 
R. v. Donna Anthony [2005] EWCA Crim 952 2005 Miscalculation of probability of multiple SIDS deaths by Sir Roy Meadow Appeal court judgment 
Saadi v Italy (European court of Human Rights) 2008 Judgment includes reference to Bayes' theorem as a means of estimating risk in an appeal against deportation  Judgment on Bailii 
F (Children) [2007] EWHC 3235 (Fam) 2007 Misleading use of likelihood ratios in child protection case Judgment on Bailii 
R v Atkins and Anor [2009] EWCA Crim 1876 2009 Use of verbal scale by CCTV expert  Judgment on Baillii 
R v Yusuf Aytugrul (Australia) 2009 Presentation of DNA match probability  Report in The Australian 
Nulty & Ors v Milton Keynes Borough 2013 Appeal judge bans use of probability in reference to an event that has happened blog article 
R v David Butler 2005, 2012 Flawed DNA, prosecutor fallacy reported Report from Telegraph 
Showing 80 items
Comments