Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Framing the Prosecution

21 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013 Last revised: 28 Sep 2013

Daniel C. Richman

Columbia Law School

Date Written: July 17, 2013


Even as we endeavor to give criminal defendants the means and license to raise reasonable doubts -- to put investigations on trial -- we need to think more about when and how those doubts can be allayed. What tools should we give jurors to assess the alleged holes – the “reasonableness” of an alleged doubt? And how can the prosecution try to mend them? How we answer these questions will affect the value of trials as a systemic regulatory mechanism in a world with very few trials. Sparked by Dan Simon’s work on the “diagnosticity” of criminal trials, this essay proposes a quiet reframing of trials as regulatory interventions into a sparsely regulated world.

Keywords: criminal trials, evidence, prosecutions, criminal investigations

JEL Classification: K41, K14

Suggested Citation

Richman, Daniel C., Framing the Prosecution (July 17, 2013). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 13-361. Available at SSRN: or

Daniel C. Richman (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views