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phil discussion reply
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, youâll want to become intimate with the details of the case early on.
Youâll create one witness for the State (the testimony will support the Stateâs case) and one witness for the Defense (the testimony will support the Defenseâs case). Each witness will give testimony before the court.
- Your witness is novel â 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).
- 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 Stateâs attorney. Do not include the other attorney that would cross-examine the witness (that will be part of replies).
- You may use the dialogue to set-up background information needed to make your witness believable given the details of the entire case.
- The testimony cannot be an eyewitness to the crime (there are no eyewitnesses to the crime in this case!)
- 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.
- 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.
- Mastery would contain an example of 2 types of deceptive arguments within each chapter (12 and 13) for each witness.
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 Stateâs 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!
student one discussionï¼Witness for the State
Warren: The State calls James Parker.
James Parker takes the stand
Warren: Mr. Parker, could you state your position and qualifications for the court?
Parker: I am a forensic ballistics and firearms expert working for the Lincoln County Sheriffâs Department. I received my degree in forensic science from Iowa State University in 1990 and prior to pursuing a career in forensics I was a police officer for the Lincoln Police Department. I have received extensive training in being able to identify various types of ballistics and firearms.
Warren: Your honor, the State asks that Mr. Parker be qualified as an expert witness.
Judge: Without objections Mr. Parker is qualified as an expert witness.
Warren: Mr. Parker since you are an expert in ballistics and firearms what can you tell us about the .38 caliber handgun in question?
Parker: Yes, I can indeed give provide more detailed information on the .38 caliber handgun. I can say that the weapon used to commit the crime was without a doubt a .38 caliber handgun.
Warren: Mr. Parker what can you tell the jury about the popularity for this type of handgun in the area?
Parker: Based on my expert knowledge I can conclude that a .38 caliber pistol is indeed one of the most popular types of handguns for personal usage within Lincoln County and the surrounding area. In this particular case the weapon used was a .38 caliber pistol and it is known that Robert Ransom is the owner of a .38 caliber pistol therefore, he must be guilty.
Warren: Therefore, Mr. Parker could you come to the conclusion that there is a high probability that Robert Ransom used his .38 caliber pistol to murder Jim Larkin?
Parker: Yes, based on my expert knowledge of ballistics and firearms I can come to the conclusion that there is a great chance Robert Ransom murdered Jim Larkin with the .38 caliber pistol he owns. Based on the prior testimony given I can conclude that Robert Ransom was upset that Jim Larkin was seen out with Laura Larue and went back to his home and got his .38 caliber pistol with the intention of murdering Jim Larkin.
Warren: The State has no further questions for Mr. Parker.
Witness for the Defense
West: The defense calls Jane Ransom.
Jane Ransom takes the stand.
West: Ms. Ransom would you state your full name and your relation to the defendant.
Ransom: My name is Jane Louise Ransom and I am the daughter of the defendant Robert Ransom.
West: Ms. Ransom would you say you have a close relationship with your father Robert Ransom.
Ransom: Yes, I would say I have a very close relationship with the defendant. Even though, him and my mother divorced a few years ago we have managed to maintain a close relationship.
West: Ms. Ransom, what do you have to say about your fatherâs temperament within the last month or two?
Ransom: For the most part, my father has a very mild temperament but he can occasionally lose his temper but doesnât everyone at some point or another. Although, recently I have seen a slight change in his temperament after he broke up with Laura Larue and saw her with Jim Larkin.
West: Ms. Ransom would you say that this change in his temperament would bring him to such a drastic measure of say causing direct harm to Jim Larkin.
Ransom: No of course not, my father cared very much for Laura Larue and wanted to get back together with her but he would not go to the extreme of murdering Jim Larkin in order to get Laura back.
West: In summary, Ms. Ransom you have a close personal relationship with Robert Ransom and you truly believe without a doubt that he is not capable of committing the murder of Jim Larkin?
Ransom: Yes, that is correct. I believe that Robert Ransom should not be found guilty simply based on the conclusion that he disliked Jim Larkin, disliking someone does not make someone guilty of murder.
West. The defense has not further questions for Ms. Ransom.
student2 discussionï¼State Att: So Mr. Sanders(witness)... you live in the apartments across the street from the shooting correct?
Mr Sanders: That is correct.
State Att: And did you see Mr. Ransom in the crowd an hour after the shooting watching the scene?
Mr. Sanders: I do believe so yes.
State Att: And if Mr. Ransom lives two blocks away and was in the crowd then that means he's the murderer because murderers return to the scene of the crime, therefore making him guilty!
State Att: Mr. Ransom should be thrown in jail because knowingly killing a innocent man is wrong!
Defense Att: Mrs. Wall (witness).. how do you know the defendant?
Mrs Wall: Mr. Ransom helps us volunteer down at the soup kitchen on Sundays.
Defense Att: Does Mr. Ransom get mean or nasty at some of the customers?
Mrs. Wall: No he's always really kind and always has a smile on his face.
Defense Att: Mr. Ransom volunteers at a soup kitchen and only good citizens volunteer at soup kitchens and good citizens would never commit murder, therefore he is innocent.
Defense Att: Mr. Ransom should not be on trial for murder for no one with such a helping heart and a kind soul should ever be accused of murder.