United States V. Copeland: A Collateral Attack on the Legal Maxim that Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is Unquantifiable?
34 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2006
Date Written: August 9, 2006
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.
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation