Confronting the Death Penalty. How Language Influences Jurors in Capital Cases
Confronting the Death Penalty: How Language Influences Jurors in Capital Cases probes how jurors make the ultimate decision about whether another human being should live or die. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative linguistic methods, this book explores the means through which language helps to make death penalty decisions possible – how specific linguistic choices mediate and restrict jurors’, attorneys’, and judges’ actions and experiences while serving and reflecting on capital trials. By focusing on how language can both facilitate and stymie empathic encounters, the book addresses a conflict inherent to death penalty trials: jurors literally face defendants during trial and then must distort, diminish, or negate these face-to-face interactions in order to sentence those same defendants to death. The book reveals that jurors cite legal ideologies of rational, dispassionate decision-making – conveyed in the form of authoritative legal language – when negotiating these moral conflicts. By investigating the interface between experiential and linguistic aspects of legal decision-making, the book breaks new ground in studies of law and language, language and psychology, and the death penalty.
- Document type Book
- Countries list United States
- Themes list Public opinion, Public debate, Death Penalty,