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Charles R. Nesson, Reasonable Doubt and Permissive Inferences: The Value of Complexity, 92 Harv. L. Rev. 1187 (1979).

Abstract: Permissive inferences have long served to assist state and federal prosecutors by authorizing juries to infer an essential element of a crime from proof of some other fact commonly associated with it. Professor Nesson argues, however, that this type of presumption accomplishes the goals of its legislative authors by necessarily subverting those aspects of the criminal adjudication system that tend most to secure public respect for trial verdicts. To avoid this result, he proposes alternative ways of achieving the legitimate purposes behind permissive inferences, with particular emphasis on the pending revision of the Federal Criminal Code.