Synopses & Reviews
Why do so many people voluntarily consent to searches by have the police search their person or vehicle when they know that they are carrying contraband or evidence of illegal activity? Does everyone understand the Miranda
warning? How well can people recognize a voice on tape? Can linguistic experts identify who wrote an anonymous threatening letter?
Speaking of Crime answers these questions and examines the complex role of language within our criminal justice system. Lawrence M. Solan and Peter M. Tiersma compile numerous cases, ranging from the Lindbergh kidnapping to the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton to the JonBenandeacute;t Ramsey case, that provide real-life examples of how language functions in arrests, investigations, interrogations, confessions, and trials. In a clear and accessible style, Solan and Tiersma show how recent advances in the study of language can aid in understanding how legal problems arise and how they might be solved.
With compelling discussions current issues and controversies, this book is a provocative state-of-the-art survey that will be of enormous value to legal scholars and professionals throughout the criminal justice system.
About the Author
Lawrence M. Solan is the Don Forcelli Professor of Law and director of the Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition at Brooklyn Law School. Peter M. Tiersma is professor at Loyola University Law School. They are the authors, respectively, of The Language of Judges and Legal Language, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
Part I - A Good Time to Study the Language of Criminal Justice
1. Language and the Criminal Law
The Language of Police and Suspects
Crimes of Language
Some Goals and Limitations
2. Linguistics in the Law
The Subsystems of Language
Word Meaning: Two Ways of Thinking
Discourse and Inferences from Context
Linguistics in the Courts
Linguistics and the Admissibility of Expert Evidence in American Courts
Part II Gathering the Evidence
3. "Consensual" Searches
The Bustamonte Case
Requests versus Commands
4. Interrogation, Confession, and the Right to Counsel
Invoking the Right to Counsel
The Meaning of "Interrogation"
Interrogation and the Problem of False Confessions
5. Understanding Miranda
The Rise of Miranda
Suspects with Low Intelligence or Mental Problems
Suspects Whose Native Language Is Not English
How Can Comprehension Be Improved?
Part III - Linguistic Evidence in Court
6. Exact Words
Forget about It: Human Memory for Verbatim Speech
The Legal System's Response: Substance Is Good Enough
Language Crimes without the Language
7. Who Said That?
Legal Standards for Identifying Speakers
Voice Recognition Research and the Reliability of Identifications
Expert Speaker Identification
8. Who Wrote That?
Hauptmann and the Document Examiners
Leaving It to the Jury
The Return of the Experts?
Some Promise for an Improved Science of Authorship Attribution
Some Easier Cases
Part IV - Crimes of Language
9. Solicitation, Conspiracy, Bribery
What Constitutes a Threat?
Indirect and Ambiguous Threats
The Bronston Case
Did Clinton Lie?
Perjury and Lying
12. Where Do We Go from Here?
Legislatures and the Executive Branch
Linguists, Psychologists, and Other Scholars