The median juror and the trial of Socrates
A model of the mechanism used by the Classical Athenians to prosecute Socrates is presented. Two important features of such trials are, first, both the prosecutor and the defendant propose sanctions and, second, a jury takes a simple majority vote over the two proposals. The Classical Athenians created a mechanism to achieve a median-juror result. This sanction is a Condorcet Winner among all possible sanctions, responds to both the harm of the act and the uncertainty of guilt, and, under reasonable conditions, improves deterrence resulting in fewer crimes being committed.
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