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The Language of Murder Cases – Intentionality, Predisposition, and Voluntariness - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Language of Murder Cases: Intentionality, Predisposition, and Voluntariness

Roger W. Shuy


The Language of Murder Cases describes fifteen court cases for which Roger Shuy served as an expert language witness and explains the issues at stake in those cases for lawyers and linguists. Investigations and trials in murder cases are guided by the important legal terms describing the mental states of defendants—their intentionality, predisposition, and voluntariness. Unfortunately, statutes and dictionaries can provide only loose definitions of these terms, largely because mental states are virtually impossible to define. Their meaning, therefore, must be adduced either by inf ... More

Keywords: murder, intentionality, predisposition, voluntariness, linguistic tools, reasonable doubt

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199354832
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354832.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Roger W. Shuy, author
Georgetown University