Creating Language Crimes: How Law Enforcement Uses (and Misuses) Language

Hardcover | September 15, 2005

byRoger W. Shuy

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This book by Roger W. Shuy, the senior figure in forensic linguistics, is the first to explain in an accessible way the vital role that linguistic evidence and its proper analysis play in criminal investigations. Shuy provides compelling case studies of how language functions in investigations involving, among others, wired undercover operatives, and the interrogation of suspects. He makes the point that language evidence can be as important as physical evidence, but yet does not enjoy the same degree ofscrutiny by investigators, attorneys, and the courts. Beyond this, however, his more controversial thesis is that police frequently misuse or manipulate language, using various powerful controversial strategies, in order to intentionally create an impression of the targets' guilt or even to get themto confess. This book makes its case by analyzing a dozen criminal cases involving a variety of crimes, such as fraud, bribery, stolen property, murder, and others. About half involve co-operating witnesses who do the tape recording, and the other half undercover police officers. These cases demonstrate howundercover operatives use different conversational strategies, such as overlapping conversation, ambiguity, interruption, refusing to take "no" for an answer, and others to create a negative impression of the targets on later listeners. Creating Language Crimes provides a fascinating window into a little-known and discussed facet of law enforcement. It will appeal to anyone concerned with language (particularly sociolinguists and discourse analysts), as well as to those involved in law enforcement and criminal cases.

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This book by Roger W. Shuy, the senior figure in forensic linguistics, is the first to explain in an accessible way the vital role that linguistic evidence and its proper analysis play in criminal investigations. Shuy provides compelling case studies of how language functions in investigations involving, among others, wired undercover...

Roger W. Shuy is Distinguished Research Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus, at Georgetown University. He is also president of Roger W. Shuy, Inc. in Missoula, Montana, founded in 1982 and specializing in linguistic services to attorneys in criminal and civil cases.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 5.79 × 8.31 × 0.91 inPublished:September 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195181662

ISBN - 13:9780195181661

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Crimes, Conversational Strategies, and Language Power1. How Language Crimes Are Created2. Conversational Strategies Used to Create Crimes3. The Power of Conversational StrategiesPart II: Uses by Cooperating Witnesses4. Overlapping, Ambiguity, and the Hit and Run in a Solicitation to Murder Case: Texas v. T. Cullen Davis5. Retelling, Scripting, and Lying in a Murder Case: Florida v. Alan Mackerley6. Interrupting, Overlapping, Lying, Not Taking "No" for an Answer, and Representing Illegality Differently to Separate Targets in a Stolen Property Case: US v. Prakesh Patel and Daniel Houston7. Eleven Little Ambiguities and How They Grew in a Business Fraud Case: US v. Paul Webster and Joe Martino8. Discourse Ambiguity in a Contact Fraud Case: US v. David Smith9. Contamination and Manipulation in a Bribery Case: US v. Paul Manziel10. Scripting by Requesting Directives and Apologies in a Sexual Misconduct Case: Idaho v. J. MussinaPart III: Uses by Law Enforcement Officers11. Police Camouflaging in an Obstruction of Justice Case: US v. Brian Lett12. Police Camouflaging in a Purchasing Stolen Property Case: US v. Tariq Shalash13. A Rogue Cop and Every Strategy He Can Think Of: The Wenatchee Washington Sex Ring Case14. An Undercover Policeman Uses Ambiguity, Hit and Run, Interrupting, Scripting, and Refusing to Take "No" for an Answer in a Solicitation to Murder Case: The Crown v. Mohammed Arshad15. Manipulating the Tape, Interrupting, Inaccurate Restatements, and Scripting in a Murder Case: Florida v. Jerry TownsendPart IV: Conversational Strategies as Evidence16. Eight Questions about the Power of Conversational Strategies in Undercover Police InvestigationsReferences CitedCases CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Interesting and very readable." --British Journal of Criminology