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Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190669898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190669898.001.0001

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Police Interviewers Use Deceptive Ambiguity

Police Interviewers Use Deceptive Ambiguity

(p.67) 3 Police Interviewers Use Deceptive Ambiguity
Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors

Roger W. Shuy

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an analysis of the Miranda warning, pointing out the opportunities it provides for creating ambiguity. Following this, the chapter points out the ways police interviewers used ambiguity with juvenile murder suspect Kevin Rogers in Houston, Texas, and juvenile suspect Michael Carter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The third case describes the law enforcement interviews with Major Dragan Jokic of the Serbian army during the International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia at The Hague. Major Jokic was accused of abetting genocide during the Srebrenica massacre. In all three cases, analysis demonstrates the ways that these government officials used ambiguity deceptively during their interviews with their suspects. This analysis includes the way the interviewers’ used deceptive ambiguity while presenting the speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, and lexicon and grammar.

Keywords:   deceptive ambiguity, Miranda warning, juvenile suspects, Kevin Rogers, Michael Carter, Srebrenica, Major Dragan Jokic, International Criminal Tribunal

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