CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, October 3, 2022

Leshem on The Informational Role of an Elevated Standard of Proof

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.

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