Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

The fundamental problem with false convictions is that they are unobserved, and in general, unobservable. We don't spot them when they happen-if we did, they wouldn't happen-and in most cases we can't identify them after the fact. We have no general reliable test for innocence or guilt; if we did, we'd use it at trial. As result, we often say that we don't know for sure whether a convicted criminal defendant is innocent or guilty, or even that we can't know for sure. But this isn't exactly true-or rather, its truth depends on who we mean by "we."


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