Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

In Dubio Pro Reo. Behavioral explanations of pro-defendant bias in procedures

Contents:

Author Info

  • Antonio Nicita

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Law, La Sapienza University of Rome.)

  • Matteo Rizzolli

    ()
    (Free University of Bozen)

Abstract

The standard model of optimal deterrence predicts that the probability of wrongful conviction of the innocent is, at the margin, as detrimental to deterrence as the probability of wrongful acquittal of guilty individuals. We extend the model in several directions: using expected utility as well as non-expected utility to consider the role of risk aversion, non-linear probability weighting and loss aversion. We also consider how relevant emotions such as guilt, shame and indignation play out. Several of these factors support the intuition that wrongful convictions of the innocent do have a larger detrimental impact on deterrence and thus the policy implications are reconciled with the widely shared maxim in dubio pro reo. We then draw some theoretical implications such as a novel justification for the different standards of proof in criminal vs civil law as well as other policy implications.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://pro1.unibz.it/projects/economics/repec/bemps04.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen in its series BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series with number BEMPS04.

as in new window
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps04

Contact details of provider:
Postal: VIA SERNESI, 1 - 39100 BOLZANO
Phone: +39 0471 315 000
Fax: +39 0471 315 009
Email:
Web page: http://www.unibz.it/en/economics/research/workingpapers/default.html
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: wrongful convictions; Type I errors; wrongful acquittals; Type II errors; evidence; optimal under-deterrence; behavioral economics; risk aversion; loss aversion; prospect theory; prelec function;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  2. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2010. "Composite Prospect Theory: A proposal to combine ‘prospect theory’ and ‘cumulative prospect theory’," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  3. Henrik Lando, 2006. "Does Wrongful Conviction Lower Deterrence?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 327-337, 06.
  4. Ali al-Nowaihi & Ian Bradley & Sanjit Dhami, 2006. "The Utility Function Under Prospect Theory," Discussion Papers in Economics 06/15, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 2005. "The Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 11780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Schrag, Joel & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1994. "Crime and Prejudice: The Use of Character Evidence in Criminal Trials," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 319-42, October.
  7. Kaplow, Louis, 1994. "The Value of Accuracy in Adjudication: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 307-401, January.
  8. repec:att:wimass:8908 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2006. "Rules of Proof, Courts, and Incentives," Cahiers de recherche 0633, CIRPEE.
  10. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
  11. Ognedal, Tone, 2005. "Should the Standard of Proof be Lowered to Reduce Crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 45-61, March.
  12. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2004. "Deterrence vs Judicial Error: a Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Cahiers de recherche 0418, CIRPEE.
  13. Alon Harel & Alon Klement, 2005. "The Economics of Shame: Why More Shaming may Deter Less," Discussion Paper Series dp401, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  14. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  15. Funk, Patricia, 2004. "On the effective use of stigma as a crime-deterrent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 715-728, August.
  16. Craswell, Richard & Calfee, John E, 1986. "Deterrence and Uncertain Legal Standards," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 279-303, Fall.
  17. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2005. "Deterrence versus Judicial Error: A Comparative View of Standards of Proof," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(2), pages 193-, June.
  18. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2008. "The Economics of Moral Preferences," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 605-628, October.
  19. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2013. "Better that ten guilty persons escape: punishment costs explain the standard of evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 395-411, June.
  20. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  21. Lando Henrik, 2009. "Prevention of Crime and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Criminal Law," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 33-52, January.
  22. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  23. Okan Yilankaya, 2002. "A model of evidence production and optimal standard of proof and penalty in criminal trials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 385-409, May.
  24. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2010. "The Behavioral Economics of Crime and Punishment," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Jul 2010.
  25. Miceli, Thomas J., 1991. "Optimal criminal procedure: Fairness and deterrence," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-10, May.
  26. Davis, Michael L, 1994. "The Value of Truth and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 343-59, October.
  27. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
  28. Dacey, Raymond & Gallant, Kenneth S., 1997. "Crime control and harassment of the innocent," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 325-334.
  29. Harris, John R, 1970. "On the Economics of Law and Order," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-74, Jan.-Feb..
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (bemps administrator).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.