Compliments of Mark Anderson of Andertoons
Forensic Linguistics is the study of the language of law and legal process. It also includes the language of 911 calls, the police and the courtroom, and the language that is used in trials as evidence.
LanguageAndLaw.org describes Forensic Linguistics as the methodology that solves crimes. It comprises many areas that relate to crime, both solving crime and absolving people wrongly accused of committing crimes. Some of these areas include:
- Voice identification (also called forensic phonetics)
- Author identification (analysis of the personal writing style; also called forensic stylistics)
- Discourse analysis (analysis of the structure of spoken or written utterance)
- Linguistic proficiency
- Language analysis (determining the suspect’s native language)
- “Linguistic veracity analysis” (determining whether a speaker or a writer was being truthful)
One of the best forensic linguists in the USA is Dr. Robert Leonard. He has a wide experience in his field of expertise. For instance, he has been retained by both defendants and prosecutors to consult and/or testify in criminal cases involving murder, espionage, and other felonies, and he has consulted and/or testified for both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases involving trademarks, plagiarism, libel, malpractice, and the meaning of contracts.
The following video briefly describes Dr. Robert Leonard’s technique on how to implement the theoretical knowledge of Forensic Linguistics into practice, i.e. Sherlyn Hummert murder investigation.
The Court has decided the police can sample your DNA without a warrant. Thus, anyone arrested for a felony, even the individuals who were never convicted, can now be tested. The tests’ results are uploaded to state and federal crime database.
Pros and cons
Some law agencies hope DNA testing can be a reliable identification tool rather than names, appearance and fingerprints. Proponents say it is a valuable tool which can investigate unsolved crimes. It can also help separate violent offenders from other people. For example, a Maryland study shows that 20 crimes could have been prevented if just 3 arrested were sampled.
Opponents claim it violates the Fourth Amendment which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. As a result, in a number of state and federal courts there were cases when the law faced conflicting results. The case by the Maryland Court of Appeals held the practice unconstitutional. It happened earlier this year. A DNA sample was taken from a man who was arrested in 2009 on assault. It matched evidence from an unsolved rape. Later on, he was convicted and charged by the state based on the match.
Removing your DNA data
If you have been arrested for a felony you did not commit, you can have your records removed from the database. Only eight states offer automatic deletion of these records. In the remaining 17 states arrestees must contact authorities to ask that their records be removed.
More information here: http://blogs.lawyers.com/2012/10/the-police-can-test-your-dna-without-a-warrant/
In a resent article on Forbes’ website an interesting case has been posted. Fortunately, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man, tried unsuccessfully to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Wednesday morning.
It poses too many questions: does anybody pushed him to do that or was that his own initiative?
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb in New York’s financial district, but he was arrested by law enforcement as part of a sting and no one was ever in any danger.