Journal Article

The Effects of a Right to Silence

Daniel J. Seidmann

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 72, issue 2, pages 593-614
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI:
The Effects of a Right to Silence

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, a right to silence can reduce wrongful convictions of innocent suspects who tell police the truth, and may reduce the overall conviction rate without affecting the confession rate. We establish these conclusions by modelling interrogation as a game in which suspects are privately informed of their type, but do not know the content of witness reports. Our model has testable implications which distinguish it from competing models. The best data rejects competing models, but does not reject our model.

Keywords: K42

Journal Article.  12583 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Law and Economics

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