Laudan's Error: Reasonable Doubt and Acquittals of Guilty People

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt (BARD) is one of the most fundamental requirements of American criminal law and other legal systems. Professor Larry Laudan has criticized this requirement for several reasons. His main contention is that the BARD formula converts evidential support into subjective confidence, and is therefore not a genuine standard of proof. At the same time, Laudan holds that BARD produces a large number of guilty defendant's acquittals due to its excessive demand for evidence. The aims of this article are twofold: firstly, to show the inconsistency between these theses; and secondly, independent of this inconsistency, Laudan's argument is unacceptable regarding the number of guilty defendant's acquittals. Perhaps the real ratio of false negatives to false positives were what Laudan holds them to be, yet he fails to provide any suitable argument to support his claim, or to attribute the alleged frequency of errors to a particular standard of proof - BARD or otherwise. El artículo está siendo revisado luego de solicitados ciertos cambios como condición de publicación ​
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