For this weeks discussion you will use the case (State v. Ransom) on pp 411-425 as well as rely on your understanding of weak arguments from Chapter 12 and 13.

For this weeks discussion you will use the case (State v. Ransom) on pp 411-425 as well as rely on your understanding of weak arguments from Chapter 12 and 13.

Note that your project (due week 7) is also based on State v. Ransom. As such, you’ll want to become intimate with the details of the case early on.

Guidelines:

You’ll create one witness for the State (the testimony will support the State’s case) and one witness for the Defense (the testimony will support the Defense’s case). Each witness will give testimony before the court.

  1. Your witness is novel – your own creation. It may be any kind of witness. You may add new information (statements). We are leaving it open whether that information is true or false (think Chapter 16).
  2. The testimony will be in the form of a dialogue between the witness and the lawyer. For example, the witness for the State will be a dialogue between the witness and the State’s attorney. Do not include the other attorney that would cross-examine the witness (that will be part of replies).
    1. You may use the dialogue to set-up background information needed to make your witness believable given the details of the entire case.
  3. The testimony cannot be an eyewitness to the crime (there are no eyewitnesses to the crime in this case!)
  4. The testimony of the witness will be weak as it should be based on material from Chapter 12 and 13. The craft is simply on whether you can make a weak argument sound strong.
  5. A proficient response will have each witness provide one deceptive argument type within Chapter 12 and one deceptive argument type within Chapter 13. Thus, proficiency would contain 4 deceptive arguments, 2 for the witness for the Defense and two for witness for the State.
    1. Mastery would contain an example of 2 types of deceptive arguments within each chapter (12 and 13) for each witness.

Initial Post: Your initial post should capture the above items (1-5) rather than focusing on word count. Your initial post should be up by Thursday.

Reply: Reply to at least two distinct students that have not had more than two replies. Your goal is to identify and explain one weak argument to reduce the credibility of the witness. Your reply will be in the form of a dialogue between the opposing attorney, who will to do the cross-examination, and the witness. For example, suppose the witness for the State provides a slippery slope argument to support the State’s case. You will provide the dialogue for the Defense attorney. Cross-examination should (1) reveal that it is a slippery slope argument and (2) explain why it is a deceptive argument. Thus, you will have ruined the credibility of the witness!

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