The Language of Murder Cases: Intentionality, Predisposition, and Voluntariness

Hardcover | April 15, 2014

byRoger W. Shuy

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The Language of Murder Cases describes fifteen court cases for which Roger Shuy served as an expert language witness, and explains the issues at stake in those cases for lawyers and linguists. Investigations and trials in murder cases are guided by the important legal terms describing themental states of defendants-their intentionality, predisposition, and voluntariness. Unfortunately, statutes and dictionaries can provide only loose definitions of these terms, largely because mental states are virtually impossible to define. Their meaning, therefore, must be adduced either byinferences and assumptions, or by any available language evidence - which is often the best window into a speaker's mind. Fortunately, this window of evidence exists primarily in electronically recorded undercover conversations, police interviews, and legal hearings and trials, all of which aresubject to linguistic analysis during trial.This book examines how vague legal terminology can be clarified by analysis of the language used by suspects, defendants, law enforcement officers, and attorneys. Shuy examines speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, and smaller language units such as syntax,lexicon, and phonology, and discusses how these examinations can play a major role in deciding murder cases. After defining key terms common in murder investigations, Shuy describes fifteen fascinating cases, analyzing the role that language played in each. He concludes with a summary of how hisanalyses were regarded by the juries as they struggled with the equally vague concept of reasonable doubt.

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The Language of Murder Cases describes fifteen court cases for which Roger Shuy served as an expert language witness, and explains the issues at stake in those cases for lawyers and linguists. Investigations and trials in murder cases are guided by the important legal terms describing themental states of defendants-their intentionality...

Roger W. Shuy is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and the author of many previous books on language and law. Over the years he has consulted on some 600 civil and criminal law cases and has testified at many federal, state trials as well as at the International Criminal Tribunal and before the US Congress on ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:April 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199354839

ISBN - 13:9780199354832

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Murder laws and terminology3. Analyzing murder law terminology and evidence4. Linguistic profiling when there is no known murder suspectThe Unabomber CaseGary Indiana women's medical clinic5. Intentionality and predisposition in murder casesThe State of Texas v. T. Cullen DavisThe Crown v. Mohammed ArshadThe State of Washington v. Michael Mockovac6. Voluntariness in murder cases7. Voluntariness of mentally incapacitated suspects capacityThe State of Florida v. Jerry TownsendThe State of Michigan v. Benjamin HauswirthThe State of Alaska v. Larry Gentry8. Voluntariness of suspects impaired by alcohol or drugsThe State of Nevada v. Shelli DeweyThe State of Florida v. Robert AlbenThe State of Ohio v. Charles Lorraine9. Voluntariness of juvenile suspectsThe State of Louisiana v. Michael CarterThe State of Texas v. Kevin Rogers10. Voluntariness of emotionally distraught suspectsThe State of Okahama v. Stephen AllenCommonwealth of Virginia v. Beverly Monroe11. Reasonable doubt in murder casesReferencesCases citedIndex