Mere Preparation

13 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2015 Last revised: 25 Mar 2016

See all articles by Murat C. Mungan

Murat C. Mungan

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: April 18, 2015


Acts that are merely in preparation for the commission of a crime are not punished in many jurisdictions. This article provides a wrongful-imprisonment-cost-minimization based justification for this practice. It highlights that conceiving of sufficient proximity based on the trade-off between error-costs and deterrence-benefits may be a more useful alternative to conceptions that rely on physical or temporal proximity to define merely preparatory acts.

Keywords: Mere preparation, proximity, attempts, optimal punishment.

JEL Classification: K00, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Mungan, Murat C., Mere Preparation (April 18, 2015). FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 751; FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper No. 15-15. Available at SSRN: or

Murat C. Mungan (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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