On the Limitations of Unitary Models of the Proof Process

7 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2018

See all articles by Mark Spottswood

Mark Spottswood

Florida State University College of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2018


This invited response considers a recent paper by Professors Ronald Allen and Michael Pardo, which defends their own “explanatory” theory of the proof process and critiques three other papers that employ quantified conceptions of uncertainty. The authors maintain that a successful theory of this kind should correspond to the way that jurors actually reason, to the structure of American trials, and to typical jury instructions. They also demand that such a theory should be normatively defensible. Unfortunately, any model that can bridge the gap between these divergent grounds must be a vague approximation to any one of them. Even worse, blurring these lines will impede our ability to identify and evaluate potential reforms to our trial process.

Keywords: Evidence, Bayesian, Probabilistic, Explanatory, Inference to the Best Explanation, Fact-Finding, Judges, Juries, Trials

Suggested Citation

Spottswood, Mark, On the Limitations of Unitary Models of the Proof Process (October 1, 2018). FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 896, FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper No. 18-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3258702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3258702

Mark Spottswood (Contact Author)

Florida State University College of Law ( email )

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Tallahassee, FL Florida 32306
United States
8506444248 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.fsu.edu/our-faculty/profiles/spottswood

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