Monday, October 3, 2022
Shmuel Leshem has posted The Informational Role of an Elevated Standard of Proof on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This paper shows that an exacting standard of proof in criminal proceedings aligns prosecutors' information-gathering incentives with society's preferences. A conviction-oriented prosecutor must collect a random evidentiary signal before deciding whether to press charges against a suspect. Elevating the standard of proof above society's ex post optimal standard induces the prosecutor to acquire and present a more informative signal, which reduces society's ex ante expected costs of errors. A higher standard of proof not only reduces the incidence of wrongful convictions, but may also lower the rate of wrongful acquittals.