assembling critical predictions composing quantitative predictions assembling predictive understanding mapping contingent estimations assembling accurate futures mapping the future computing critical predictions formulating contingent contingencies delivering quantitative estimations calculating critical wisdom generating calibrated futures forecasting critical predictions modeling intelligent insights exploring intelligent futures


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will Donald Trump serve time in jail or prison?

Please take this question not as an expression of partisan blood-lust ("Lock him up!"), but as an exercise in conjunctive probabilities.

Donald J. Trump may or may not have committed crimes during his tenure as President, during his campaign, or previously in his life and business career.

For him to actually be jailed as a result, several things would have to be true, with each one roughly dependent on the last.

1) He would have to have committed a crime (on the generous theory that he will not be jailed if this is not the case).

2) He would have to be eligible to be indicted. This means that either

a) he is no longer President, or

b) it is decided that a sitting President can be indicted (a matter of legal controversy at the moment)

3) A prosecutor or grand jury would have to decide that he should be indicted.

4) He would have to be found guilty.

5) A judge would have to decide on a sentence that included time in jail.

6) The sentence starts before a pardon occurs.

Number 5 in particular may be quite a high bar, especially given the potentially incendiary impact of jailing a President or ex-President who won election and enjoyed the continuing support of a large percentage of the American public. The American political/judicial system has shied away from any such outcome in previous scandals. Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment and then was preemptively pardoned; Bill Clinton was impeached by the House without conviction by the Senate, and did not suffer conviction on criminal charges (though he was cited and fined for civil contempt of court, had his law license suspended for five years, and settled a civil lawsuit out of court).

This question will resolve positively if Donald Trump is incarcerated for any period of time, no matter how brief, before June 30, 2028. It will resolve negatively either on June 30 2028 or upon Trump's death if he has not been so incarcerated

Note that the reason for Trump being jailed need not have any connection to any particular scandal or to Trump's presidency or presidential campaign, nor to the 6 steps listed above. If Trump is held overnight in county lock-up pending arraignment on a charge of reckless driving, then the resolution is positive.


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.