Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law

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Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law

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Title: Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law
Author: Lando, Henrik
Abstract: The standard of proof in criminal law a®ects retributive justice through the number of wrong convictions and wrong acquittals. It also a®ects the level of crime, since a higher standard of proof implies less deterrence and less incapacitation. This article derives an expression for the optimal standard from a trade-o® between these e®ects, and applies the expression to the crime of sexual violation against women. For this crime, social preferences for justice versus prevention of crime are elicited through a survey and inserted into the expression for the optimal standard. The result indicates that the concern for prevention of crime may have a signi¯cant e®ect on the optimal standard of proof.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/6785
Date: 2003-11-21

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