CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nakao & Tsumagari on Discretionary vs. Mandatory Prosecution

Keisuke Nakao and Masatoshi Tsumagari (University of Hawaii at Hilo and affiliation not provided to SSRN) have posted Discretionary vs. Mandatory Prosecution: A Game-Theoretic Approach to Comparative Criminal Procedure on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Using a game-theoretic model of criminal procedure, we investigate relative merits and demerits between discretionary and mandatory prosecution. The game illustrates a prosecutor's dilemma associated with his two tasks: evidence production and case screening. Discretionary prosecution makes use of incriminating evidence to dispose of weak cases, but it may suffer the moral-hazard problem in evidence production more seriously than mandatory prosecution. Our welfare analyses suggest that mandatory prosecution outperforms discretionary prosecution when evidence transmission from the prosecutor to the judge is accurate and/or when the cost of litigation incurred by the prosecutor is large.

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