Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1431616
 
 

Footnotes (15)



 


 



Taking the Ratio of Differences Seriously: The Multiple Offender and the Standard of Proof, or, Different Strokes for Serial Folks


Larry Laudan


University of Texas School of Law

July 8, 2009


Abstract:     
This paper analyzes the case for utilizing different standards of proof for trying cases involving, respectively, serial offenders and first-time offenders. It argues that, if we expect the standard in a trial to reflect the costs and benefits of the four possible outcomes at trial, then the empirical data leave no room for doubt that the profiles of all four outcomes -- true and false convictions and true and false acquittals -- are strikingly different for serial offenders than for those without prior convictions.

Moreover, it is shown how the phenomenon of widespread and prolonged recidivism poses insuperable problems for those who subscribe to a retributionist or just deserts theory of crime and punishment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: serial felons, standard of proof, recidivism, utilities, just deserts, consequentialism, false convictions, reasonable doubt

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 9, 2009 ; Last revised: July 18, 2009

Suggested Citation

Laudan, Larry, Taking the Ratio of Differences Seriously: The Multiple Offender and the Standard of Proof, or, Different Strokes for Serial Folks (July 8, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1431616 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1431616

Contact Information

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


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 527
Downloads: 111
Download Rank: 148,550
Footnotes:  15

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 1.156 seconds