Bayesian juries and the limits to deterrence

Ezra Friedman*, Abraham L. Wickelgren

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    We consider a model of crime with rational Bayesian Jurors. We find that if jurors are not perfectly informed, even when there is no limit to the size of the punishment that can be imposed, it is not possible to deter all crime. There is a finite lower bound on the crime rate which results from the difficulties in achieving a conviction with imperfect evidence and very low crime rates. Crime can not be reduced below this rate by increasing the penalty, but the lower bound can be decreased by improving the quality of evidence presented to jurors, or by increasing the threshold of evidence necessary for prosecution.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)70-86
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization
    Volume22
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Law

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