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Criminals and Victims$
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W. David Allen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762526

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762526.001.0001

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The Destruction of Evidence

The Destruction of Evidence

(p.77) Chapter 4 The Destruction of Evidence
Criminals and Victims
Stanford University Press

The existence of evidence creates an incentive for criminals to destroy or spoliate that evidence to avoid the risks of detection and punishment. Criminal evidence destruction is a behavior that potentially becomes relevant in the immediate aftermath of a crime, creating uncertainty and imposing costs on plaintiffs in legal matters by forcing them to meet higher standards of proof. This chapter addresses how criminals decide whether to destroy post-crime evidence and examines what might alternately deter or even encourage such behavior. It also considers whether deterrence of spoliation helps deter crime in general.

Keywords:   evidence, punishment, evidence destruction, crime, spoliation

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