The Trial of Socrates
Bryan C. McCannon
Saint Bonaventure University
September 22, 2008
A model Socrates' trial is presented. Two important features of the trial is, first, both the prosecutor and the defendant propose sanctions and, second, a jury takes a simple majority vote over the two proposals. This is shown to have good properties. First, a median-juror result is derived. This sanction is a Condorcet Winner among all possible sanctions. Second, the imposed sanction responds to both the harm of the act and the uncertainty of guilt. Third, under mild conditions, the expected sanction that arises should deter resulting in fewer crimes being committed.
Keywords: crime, deterrence, jury decisionmaking, median juror, sanction, Socrates
JEL Classification: K4, N4working papers series
Date posted: September 23, 2008
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