Anonymous fame: all wrong!

Yesterday, the French daily Liberation ran a story about an appeal trial. As I happened to contribute to an expertise about this murder, I went pestering my office neighbours in Dauphine with the story and my two words of “fame” («très probablement»). The funniest thing is that our conclusion is quoted all wrong! We determined (by a simple Bayesian conjugate analysis of a Binomial experiment) that a cell-phone call was very unlikely to have been given from the place the main suspect said she was, given the antenna that got this call, while Liberation [and maybe the court] reports that the suspect was very likely to be at the location of the murder… No wonder when considering that statistics nor probability is taught in Law schools. Nor directly used in trials, as far as I know.

Ps- It is also comes as a surprise to me that this trial is still going on when considering that the murder took place in 1997 and that we sent our report in early 2000.

2 Responses to “Anonymous fame: all wrong!”

  1. […] which makes the earlier conviction based solely on statistical arguments the more puzzling. (As in earlier cases, the fact that the statistical arguments were delivered by a non-statistician is also very […]

  2. Pestered Neighbour A Says:

    I hope that was not the pivotal piece of evidence, otherwise I couldn’t find a less appropriate adjective than “funny”!

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