RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 398-416, 2010
USC CLEO Research Papers Series No. C11-19
USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 11-26
30 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2011 Last revised: 12 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 18, 2011
This article shows that innocent suspects benefit from exercising their right to silence during criminal proceedings. We present a model in which a criminal suspect can either make a statement or remain silent during police interrogation. At trial, the jury observes informative but imperfect signals about the suspect's guilt and the truthfulness of the suspect's statement. We show that a right to silence benefits innocent suspects by providing them with a safer alternative to speech, as well as by reducing the probability of wrongful conviction for suspects who remain silent with and without a right to silence.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Leshem, Shmuel, The Benefits of a Right to Silence for the Innocent (November 18, 2011). RAND Journal of Economics, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 398-416, 2010; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 11-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1935063