The Case of Lucia de B. should be reopened.

In 2004, the Court of Appeals convicted the Dutch nurse Lucia de B. to a life sentence, having found her guilty of 7 murders and 3 murder attempts. Although this is sometimes denied, statistics has played a central role in the conviction (this is explained, e.g., on the slides below). In October 2006, Richard Gill and I criticized these statistics in a letter to a committee which had to advise on whether or not to reopen the case.

Breaking News: October 29th, 2007, the committee advises the Board of Procurators to start the procudure, to request a reopening of the case. Here is an English language press release of the public ministry.

For more details (in Dutch), about my involvement in and opinion on the case, click here and here.

Some more links witnessing my involvement:

Note that I have not and will not make any public statement about whether or not I believe that Lucia de B. is guilty; but, having studied the case in great detail, from my area of expertise (statistics and uncertain reasoning) I can safely say that she did not have a fair trial. Several very serious mistakes were made, and all of these were to Lucia's disadvantage. Therefore I did sign the web-petition to re-open the case.
For general information in English, see the wikipedia page on the case; also of interest is Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics, the weekly Bad Science column by Ben Goldacre in The Guardian of April 7th, 2007. Losing the Lottery is a longer version of the column, with discussion, that can be found at the Bad Science web site. See also Professor Piet Groeneboom's blog. More English language links can be found at the (pro-Lucia) Lucia de B. site.
Last Updated: August 2007.