Transcript Analysis


TRANSCRIPT ANALYSIS #2 (5% of final grade) Chapter 6   Discussing the nature of invoking the rights to a counsel, authors Solan and Tiersma state: “Our observations about consent to searches also apply to suspects who invoke their right to a lawyer during interrogation. In the absence of a video recording, the only evidence whether the right to counsel was invoked is what witnesses claim took place. This can again be problematic because, as we saw in chapter 4, the exact words may be critical in determining whether a request was made; if there was a request, it would render inadmissible any information elicited subsequently. Typically, the only evidence of what transpired is testimony from a police officer, who not only is limited in how well she can remember exact words, but is ordinarily inclined to favor the prosecution. At the same time, there are limits as to how far judges will go in taking the word of law enforcement agents in this situation” (pages 106-107). Such a surprising verdict on this case is rare as noted by the authors; “While such evidentiary shenanigans are all too common in civil litigation, they have no place in criminal trials, particularly when committed by the prosecutor, whose duty to find the truth should always prevail over his desire to win. In any event, evidentiary tricks of this sort would be far less common if the original transactions were taped” (page 108).      Instructions: Read United States v. de la Jara case [Chapter 6, pages 107-108].    Examine de la Jara’s actual words in Spanish and the three possible English translations of it, the police report and the statement drafted by the assistant US attorney Write a short analysis (250-300 words) in which you discuss the importance of capturing “exact words” in a case in reference to the US v. de la Jaracase. You MUST use linguistic analysis. Provide specific examples from the transcripts. Reflect on the following questions as you respond. 1. Was de la Jara’s phrasing in Spanish a request or an invocation for an attorney? Examine the three English translations and for each translation, state the type of speech act and request (see below for a list). 2. Identify the changes between the police report and the attorney statement. Which linguistic aspects stand out.  3. How does the use of the verb “sounded” play a role in the interpretation. Base your analysis on facts, not opinions, feelings or instincts. Do not start with a broad introduction, instead, get to the point straight away.   Please make sure you express your claims clearly and succinctly. Use formal language. Proofread your writing before you submit it. If you need help with writing, use BMCC Writing Center:   Categories of Speech Acts (Searle, 1976): Declarations: I bet, I declare, I resign Representatives (believed state of the speaker): claiming, hypothesizing Commissives (committing to future acts): promising, threatening, refusing Directives: commanding, requesting, inviting Expressives: apologizing, regretting, confessing     Types of Requests: Desire I’d like the salmon special. I’m in the mood for the salmon.   Need These potatoes need to be cooked a little longer. I need some milk for my coffee.   Obligation I have to take the rest of this food home. I must try a piece of your delicious chocolate cake.   Future I’ll have some coffee with my dessert.   Question Could you bring me a glass of water? Why don’t I try the Pad Thai? Might I have some butter?   Hedging Maybe you could bring me the check. Could you perhaps get me a knife?   I guess I’ll have the vegetarian tacos. I think I’d like the Chardonnay. I believe you brought me the wrong dish.   Conditional If you have a moment, could you bring me some salsa? Charge it to my credit card, if you don’t mind.

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