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The Language of Bribery Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.001.0001

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The entrapment bribery event of taxpayer Vaughn Sligh

The entrapment bribery event of taxpayer Vaughn Sligh

(p.133) [8] The entrapment bribery event of taxpayer Vaughn Sligh
The Language of Bribery Cases

Roger W. Shuy

Oxford University Press

Although the charge of entrapment seldom works, Sligh’s encounter with an IRS agent demonstrates how analysis of the language evidence can cause it to succeed. The recorded conversations shows how the IRS agent and Sligh believed they were in different speech events up to the point at which the agent coerced Sligh to give her a bribe to reduce his tax burden. To that point, the language shows that they had different schemas, agendas, and used very different speech acts. The ultimate smoking gun expression occurred when Sligh finally understood that his only way out was to give the agent a bribe. The defense attorney used this information successfully to claim entrapment.

Keywords:   plea agreement, consultation speech event, schemas, power, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns, entrapment defense

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