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eBook Law and the Language of Identity: Discourse in the William Kennedy Smith Rape Trial ePub

by Gregory M. Matoesian

eBook Law and the Language of Identity: Discourse in the William Kennedy Smith Rape Trial ePub
Author: Gregory M. Matoesian
Language: English
ISBN: 0195123298
ISBN13: 978-0195123296
Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 6, 2001)
Pages: 280
Category: Words Language & Grammar
Subcategory: Reference
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 493
Formats: doc mbr lrf mobi
ePub file: 1938 kb
Fb2 file: 1360 kb

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. notes, references, index. Do you want to read the rest of this article? Request full-text.

Matoesian performs linguistic analysis on some of the testimony in the case. He particularly highlights snippets of interrogatory between the prosecutor and Smith and defense lawyer Roy Black and two prosecution witnesses

Gregory M. Matoesian.

Gregory M.

ISBN13: 9780195123302.

Of all published articles, the following were the most read within the past 12 months. On the Relation Between Sociology and Ethics.

Umdwyn
The arrest and trial for rape of JFK nephew Dr. William Kennedy Smith attracted national attention in 1991. Smith was acquitted in the first five minutes of jury deliberations after a trial in which almost no physical evidence was presented; the case came down to the testimony of Smith and accuser Patricia Bowman.

Matoesian performs linguistic analysis on some of the testimony in the case. He particularly highlights snippets of interrogatory between the prosecutor and Smith and defense lawyer Roy Black and two prosecution witnesses. Matoesian uses this to elucidate linguistic techniques that the lawyers used to emphasize points in their respective cases. For example, in questioning an unfriendly witness, Black stretches what might have been two brief questions out to four or five minutes to make the point that, despite the fact that her friend had accused the doctor of raping her, the friend nevertheless accompanied Smith alone on a search of the dark house, yard, and beach to look for Bowman's shoes. She then ended this by telling Smith, "I'm sorry we had to meet under these circumstances." Black thus built the testimony to a crescendo, at which point the witness appeared to be deceptive and uncooperative.

Those only interested in reading about the case will only find this book slightly useful. These snippets of interrogation are followed by anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages of analysis of them by Matoesian, and then by many pages of discussion of the relevance of the analysis in the larger field of linguistics, which is of interest primarily to linguists and might not be intelligible by those without graduate training in linguistics.

Those interested in learning about how trial interrogation can be performed rhetorically will also find the book useful; but it is written for linguists, not lawyers.

One serious issue with the book is Matoesian's standard reference to the accuser as the "victim." In a criminal trial, the accuser is called the "complainant."
Dianantrius
This book is a masterpiece! As a practicing attorney and former English major, I have never seen such meticulous and detailed study of how lawyers and witnesses talk. I found it useful for my legal practice and just plain fascinating intellectually. I strongly recommend it for attorneys, legal scholars, and anyone interested in this case.
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