Quantifying Reasonable Doubt

47 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2018 Last revised: 18 Nov 2018

See all articles by Daniel Pi

Daniel Pi

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Barbara Luppi

University of St. Thomas School of Law; Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics

Date Written: August 5, 2018

Abstract

Complaints from judges, lawyers, and scholars concerning the indefiniteness of the reasonable doubt standard are manifold. Recognizing its critical importance in criminal adjudication, supernumerary analyses of the concept have been suggested, yet the courts have rejected all but tautological attempts to define the concept. This article takes stock of the present state of the law and scholarship, advancing several new arguments for probabilistic articulations of reasonable doubt. Additionally, a comprehensive review of case law is used to derive certainty thresholds from judicial pronouncements of Blackstonian ratios in the fifty states and federal system.

Keywords: Reasonable Doubt, Standard of Proof, Blackstone's Ratio

JEL Classification: K14, K41

Suggested Citation

Pi, Daniel and Parisi, Francesco and Luppi, Barbara, Quantifying Reasonable Doubt (August 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3226479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3226479

Daniel Pi (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Barbara Luppi

University of St. Thomas School of Law

2115 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Viale Berengario 51
41100 Modena, Modena 41100
Italy

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