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Wrongful Convictions Do Lower Deterrence

Nuno Garoupa () and Matteo Rizzolli

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2012, vol. 168, issue 2, 224-231

Abstract: The conventional result of the theory of the public enforcement of law is that wrongful convictions of innocents are detrimental to deterrence. This proposition has been challenged recently. In some cases, wrongful convictions do not jeopardize deterrence, because they influence equally the innocent and the guilty. Therefore deterrence does not change. We show that, in general, wrongful convictions do lower deterrence. We prove that wrongful convictions do not jeopardize deterrence only in very limited circumstances or under unlikely assumptions.

JEL-codes: K4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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