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ChristianKl comments on The Amanda Knox Test: How an Hour on the Internet Beats a Year in the Courtroom - Less Wrong

42 Post author: komponisto 13 December 2009 04:16AM

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Comment author: ChristianKl 13 December 2009 05:36:17PM 1 point [-]

There something like a TV bias. In TV shows there often physical evidence at a crime scene that's needed for the narrative of the story. In real life there often isn't a lot of physical evidence.

That bias is strong enough to let some prospectors ask jurors about how much they watched shows like CSI to select jurors that don't believe that there has to be physical evidence.

To me it seems you are a victim of the bias that real life crime scenes look like TV crime scenes.

Comment author: Jack 14 December 2009 07:50:51AM 4 points [-]

Given the number of convicted people who were later exonerated by DNA evidence it isn't obvious to me that juries expecting physical evidence is a bad thing. One thing entailed by komponisto's discussion of the emphasis humans put social and mental facts is that the pre-CSI judicial system assigned too much weight to such facts and likely imprisoned innocent people. And it turns out they really did imprison innocent people. So maybe it is the judicial system's bias, not komponisto's...

Comment author: Unknowns 14 December 2009 07:53:15AM 0 points [-]

Even so, the number of people exonerated by later DNA evidence is nowhere near 90%.

Comment author: Jack 14 December 2009 07:59:40AM 0 points [-]

What is special about 90%?

Comment author: Unknowns 14 December 2009 08:01:48AM 0 points [-]

We're discussing a claim that someone convicted of murder has a 90-99% chance of being innocent. That could be true, but not merely because they used evidence other than DNA evidence.

Comment author: Jack 14 December 2009 08:23:55AM 2 points [-]

Oh. Obviously P(Guilty | untested DNA evidence) doesn't equal P(Guilty | no solid physical evidence of any kind & no motive & extensive physical evidence implicating someone else)... and I actually think .1 is too low a probability of Knox's guilt. I was just pointing out that the mere fact that CSI has lead to some jurors expecting physical evidence does not mean that those jurors are more biased than those content to convict without physical evidence. If we have an evolved bias to over-emphasize social and behavioral evidence then it is perfectly possible that watching CSI compensates for a bias rather than creates one.

Comment author: wnoise 13 December 2009 05:51:12PM 5 points [-]

They did find lots of crime-scene evidence in this case -- pointing toward Guede.

Comment author: komponisto 14 December 2009 07:24:07AM *  1 point [-]

In general (with a very few idiosyncratic exceptions), I despise crime shows, and have never seen an episode of CSI in my life.