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Is Reasonable Doubt Reasonable?

Larry Laudan

University of Texas School of Law

U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 144

This paper analyses the multiple tensions and confusions in appellate-court efforts to explain the criminal standard of proof. It concludes that the ambiguous and highly subjectivist character of the Supreme Court's recent glosses on this conception render it virtually meaningless. It is virtually indistinguishable from a standard saying that any doubt whatever, even inarticulable doubts, can justify an acquittal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: reasonable doubt, moral certainty, standard of proof

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Date posted: July 1, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Laudan, Larry, Is Reasonable Doubt Reasonable?. U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 144. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1152883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1152883

Contact Information

Larry Laudan (Contact Author)
University of Texas School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
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