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

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    Abstract

    The standard of proof in criminal law a®ects retributive justice throughthe number of wrong convictions and wrong acquittals. It also a®ects thelevel of crime, since a higher standard of proof implies less deterrence andless incapacitation. This article derives an expression for the optimal standardfrom a trade-o® between these e®ects, and applies the expression tothe crime of sexual violation against women. For this crime, social preferencesfor justice versus prevention of crime are elicited through a surveyand inserted into the expression for the optimal standard. The result indicatesthat the concern for prevention of crime may have a signi¯cant e®ecton the optimal standard of proof.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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