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All-or-nothing verdict as a screening device

Mehmet Bac and Parimal Bag

Oxford Economic Papers, 2003, vol. 55, issue 3, 536-559

Abstract: An adversarial model of criminal trial is considered with three verdict choices--innocent, guilty of moderate crime, and guilty of serious crime. Depending on the parties' access to evidence and initial beliefs in the courtroom about the possible crimes, the judge may agree to the defendant's request to eliminate the verdict of moderate crime from jury deliberation if the prosecution brings the charge of serious crime. Though this all-or-nothing verdict choice confers the defendant some manipulative power, it is shown that such verdict choice may also screen out an overstated charge of serious crime. Conditions are derived under which screening is effective and powerful enough to generate (ex-ante) efficiency gains. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:55:y:2003:i:3:p:536-559