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University of Michigan Law School

2012

Criminal Law

Michigan Law Review

Burdens of proof

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Criminal Sanctions In The Defense Of The Innocent, Ehud Guttel, Doron Teichman Feb 2012

Criminal Sanctions In The Defense Of The Innocent, Ehud Guttel, Doron Teichman

Michigan Law Review

Under the formal rules of criminal procedure, fact finders are required to apply a uniform standard of proof in all criminal cases. Experimental studies as well as real world examples indicate, however, that fact finders often adjust the evidentiary threshold for conviction in accordance with the severity of the applicable sanction. All things being equal, the higher the sanction, the higher the standard of proof that fact finders will apply in order to convict. Building on this insight, this Article introduces a new paradigm for criminal punishments-a paradigm that focuses on designing penalties that will reduce the risk of unsubstantiated ...