The reasoning and use of language labels to persuade the formation of empathy or total dislike in arguments can be analyzed from various litigation cases in the United States. The resultant verdicts, therefore, are anchored on the linguistic prowess of the prosecution and defense lawyers while making references to persons (Chaemsaithong, 2019; 2018). Previous studies have opined that the choice of words by persons taking part in a conversation depends upon the extent of rejection or solidarity the actors intend to create for the referent (Conley, 2016). The use of selective identifier terms to hide or induce the intended perspective of the person being inferred also exists (Nevala, 2017). Contemporary research on this subject is an avenue for uncovering the role of references attributed to the victim or the accused person in the final determination by the jury.
1.3. PURPOSE OF STUDY
To analyze the implication of referential identification by prosecutorial and defense attorneys during capital cases.
To identify the nature and frequency of applied person reference identifiers in the case study.
To examine the influence of the personal reference identifiers on the verdict in the case study.
Background and Significance
An analysis of the Minnesota V. Chauvin 2021 verdict will complement previous studies attributing linguistic warfare in courts as an influence to validate guilt or ascertain innocence. There exists no contemporary research relatable to recent controversial court cases aimed at interrogating language used by the defense and prosecution attorneys. This study will carry out an extensive evaluation of conflicting characterization by antagonistic lawyers (which amounts to linguistic warfare), by championing for the rights of the victim while portraying inhumane traits to the accused and vice versa.
Previous studies showcase that the presentations made by both the defense attorney and prosecution attorney during the closure argumentation play a significant role like a verdict to be made by the jury (Chaemsaithong, 2019; Conley, 2016). Arguments favoring societal moral norms are weighed against the choice of death or incarceration. This opportunity presented to lawyers is exploited to supersede the mere summary of the matter in question and interrogation of evidence (Chaemsaithong, 2019; 2018). Chaemsaithong (2019) employed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the selected referential words applied by the defense and prosecutorial attorneys. By interrogating how prosecution and defense lawyers attribute their referents to achieve additional goals beyond the labeling (Chaemsaithong, 2019), this research will facilitate the broadening of understanding in the selection of words in the final presentation of lawyers in capital cases.
What are the nature and frequency of applied person references in the case study?
How does the person reference identifier by antagonistic lawyers impact the verdict in the case study?
Research Design and Methods
The official video records and counsel submissions of the proceedings of the Minnesota V. Derek Micheal Chauvin will be intensely reviewed to generate quantitative and qualitative data regarding person identifier terms applied by the attorneys through a descriptive survey design.
The quantitative data generated will be analyzed using frequencies and the results presented in a table format. The qualitative data will employ thematic analysis.
Preliminary Suppositions and Implications
The choice of words to estrange or vindicate the accused by the defense attorney determines the nature of the verdict by the Jury.
The person’s referential words to uphold the status of the victim and to paint an aggravated nature of the assault committed differ between the prosecution attorney and the defense attorney.
The value of undertaking this research avails the opportunity to carry out a further inquest into the need for formulating legislation that would limit prejudice precipitated by person identifiers in capital cases.
Chaemsaithong, K. (2018). Referential practice and contested identities in legal narratives. Lingua, 212, 44-59.
Chaemsaithong, K. (2019). Person reference, identity, and linguistic violence in capital trials. Journal of Pragmatics, 142, 90-104.
Conley, R. (2016). Confronting the death penalty: How language influences jurors in capital cases. Oxford University Press.
Lutzky, U., & Nevala, M. (2017). Reference and identity in public discourses (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1075/ahs.6. For more information on Frequency of Applied Person References see this: https://www.britannica.com/science/frequency-physics
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