Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts
In trials witnesses often slant their testimony in order to advance their own interests. To obtain truthful testimony, the law relies on cross-examination under threat of prosecution for perjury. We show that perjury law is an imperfect truthrevealing mechanism. Moreover, we develop a truth-revealingmechanism for the same set of restrictions under which perjury rules operate. Under this mechanism the witness is sanctioned if a court eventually finds that the testimony was incorrect; the court need not determine that testimony was dishonest. We explain how truth-revealing mechanisms could combat distortions of observations by factual witnesses and exaggerations by experts, including "junk science".
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Volume (Year): 159 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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