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Article
Information Acquisition and the Exclusion of Evidence in Trials
The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization (2012)
  • Benjamin Lester
  • Nicola Persico, Northwestern University
  • Ludo Visschers
Abstract
A peculiar principle of legal evidence in common law systems is that probative evidence may be excluded in order to increase the accuracy of fact-finding. A formal model is provided that rationalizes this principle. The key assumption is that the fact-finders (jurors) have a cognitive cost of processing evidence. Within this framework, the judge excludes evidence in order to incentivize the jury to focus on other, more probative evidence. Our analysis sheds light on two distinctive characteristics of this type of exclusionary rules. First, that broad exclusionary powers are delegated to the judge. Second, that exclusion on grounds of undue prejudice is peculiar to common law systems. Both features arise in our model.
Publication Date
2012
DOI
10.1093/jleo/ewp040
Citation Information
Benjamin Lester, Nicola Persico and Ludo Visschers. "Information Acquisition and the Exclusion of Evidence in Trials" The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ludo/3/