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Kathleen Diaz

on 28 March 2014

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Transcript of Law


To what extent does law protect people from harm?
Stance #1
Law is absolute and does protect people from harm and provides justice.
Stance cont.
-A problem that would support stance #2 is that of the idea of Recidivism.
-Recidivism is the "tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially (e.g. relapse into criminal behavior)"
-Indicative of "criminals" who are released from prison and commit another crime.
Recidivism / Re-Arrest
In support of this argument, a study conducted resulted in this: "Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 states in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime"
People (Stance #2)
People (Stance #1)
A recent, and popular, trial that was presented was the case of Casey Anthony. She was suspected of murdering her infant daughter.
-Details about the trial: She did not contact police when this infant went "missing", thus arousing public suspicion of her intentions.
-The trial was aired on television, multiple news networks, and became a sensation for Americans.
-Similar to the Zimmermann trial, she was found not guilty, creating an uproar of angry Americans who greatly believed she was guilty of murder.
Discussion Questions
- Does law, as we know it, "protect" us from injustice?
- Does law equally protect all people?
- Can laws be manipulated?
- Can language/terminology manipulate the views of an individual in a particular situation?
-Is there a bias in the American judicial system?
-Do people with highly recognized careers, greater net-worth, or higher social status have an advantage over those with less?
-Is the legal system solely based upon perception?
-If law is subject to change, are laws incomplete? Unfair?
-Does emotion play a role in a judicial verdict? Should emotion play a role?
-Are morals influential of the development of laws?
-Who decides which laws are right and which laws are wrong? Are their decisions based on bias, experiences, emotions, and opinions?

What is the difference between law and laws ?
What is perception?
What is Language?
- Language is defined as "the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way."
- "The phraseology and vocabulary of a particular group"
-Law itself carries its own language, with its own uses of wordplay and phrases
George Zimmermann
- The George Zimermann trial is a great example of a highly sensationalized trial that was recently concluded
-George Zimmermann followed a young man home, Trayvon Martin, because of believed suspicious activity. An altercation ocurred, and Zimmermann shot and killed the unarmed Martin.
-There was an uproar from the public about the verdict being incorrect and unjust.
OJ Simpson
-Perhaps the most famous and most sensationalized trial in America is the OJ Simpson trial.
-OJ Simpson, the famous football player, was suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. There was a multitude of evidence at the crime scene pointing to Simpson.
-It was concluded that OJ was not guilty. At the time, DNA profiling was not considered evidence, and his DNA at the scene was disregarded. In order to reach a guilty verdict, there must be no room for doubt. The trial was manipulated and the jury was doubtful.
-The verdict sparked outrage and the idea of justice was put into question.

Casey Anthony
Timothy McVeigh
Timothy Mcveigh was accused of bombing a public Oklahoma city building, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more. It is considered to be one of the most traumatic American terrorist attacks in modern history.
After the trial, 1995, McVeigh was found guily and sentenced to death. this is considered to be the harshest punishment in the American legal system. The public was saddened with the hundreds affected, but believed the punishment to be fair.
Bernie Madoff was found guilty of operating the largest ponzi scheme in American history. He squandered billions of investment dollars to fuel his deceptive organization. He used the investors dollars for his own use, and was discovered when the economy crashed.
The verdict declared that he be sentenced to life in prison, and this is viewed by the public as fair and just for the crimes he committed.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
- Perception is defined as "A personal interpretation of a specific situation or event based upon their own experiences and or beliefs."
-Law is interpreted through individual perspective, for example, a lawyer might have a different opinion toward a rule than a plaintiff; it is subjective and open to change at any given situation.
-Law is defined as "the the whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, etc."
-Laws are "rules or orders that it is advisable or obligatory to observe"
-Law is constantly subject to change, as methods and ideas are changed. Thus, this questions the legitimacy of law itself, how it is enforced, and how the justice system is conducted.

Bernie Madoff
Stance #2
: Law is subjective and does not entirely protect people from harm and injustice.
Like most things in life, law is open to an individual's own interpretation. Law is also subject to change overtime because how law is interpreted today may be entirely different tomorrow. That being said, there are those who believe that our current American justice system is just and fair. On the flip side of that stance, others believe the current system is unfair and unjust. This presentation evaluates both stances with facts and examples, opening the argumentative question of whether American law is just or unjust.
Since law is always subject to change, there are two arguments that can be brought up for the current system:
Another portion to the American system is sensationalism. This is self explanatory; in modern American society, many crimes are televised, reported, and commented upon. There are various problems with this system including media bias, translation errors, impartial reports, missing evidence, etc. This influences a person's own personal perspective toward a certain crime. This being said, it opens up the question as to "who makes the final decision as far as punishment, sentencing, and verdict?"
Charles Manson
Charles Manson was accused of murdering nine upper class celebrities in Los Angeles. He manipulated a quazi-collective of followers to assist him in his brutal murder rampage.
-Manson was found guilty of first degree murder, along with his followers in 1969. They were sentenced to life in prison, and this was considered to be a fair punishment by the general public.
Real Life Situation: Trayvon Martin Case
Full transcript