Bas Kokshoorn, Bart Blankers, Jacob de Zoete, Charles Berger
More often than not, the source of DNA traces found at a crime scene is not disputed, but the activity or timing of events that resulted in their transfer is. As a consequence, practitioners are increasingly asked to assign a value to DNA evidence given propositions about activities provided by prosecution and defense counsel. Given that the dispute concerns the nature of the activity that took place or the identity of the actor that carried out the activity, several factors will determine how to formulate the propositions. Determining factors are (1) whether defense claims the crime never took place, (2) whether defense claims someone other than the accused (either an unknown individual or a known person) performed the criminal activity, and (3) whether it is claimed and disputed that the suspect performed an alternative, legitimate activity or has a relation to the victim, the object, or the scene of crime that implies a legitimate interaction. Addressing such propositions using Bayesian networks, we demonstrate the effects of the various proposition sets on the evaluation of the evidence.