United States v. Copeland: A Collateral Attack on the Legal Maxim that Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is Unquantifiable?
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman LLP
August 9, 2006
Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 160
There is a well settled maxim that the standard of persuasion in criminal trials - proof beyond a reasonable doubt - is unquantifiable. However, the usual reasons given for the unquantifiability of reasonable doubt are unsatisfactory; and a recent case, United States v. Copeland, serves as a reminder that strong considerations favor quantification of at least some standards of persuasion. This comment attempts to bring greater clarity to the question of the advantages and disadvantages of some form of quantification of the reasonable doubt standard.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: evidence, inference, proof, standard of persuasion, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, mathematics in trials, proof in criminal trials, trial by mathematics, proof and mathematics
Date posted: August 10, 2006