Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.
In 1996, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski was arrested after his writing style helped identify him. It would be the first time in history that text analysis evidence was used in U.S. federal courts, to obtain a search warrant. Since then, language has figured in to numerous criminal investigations. In the field known as “forensic linguistics,” things like word choice, spelling and punctuation can all serve as virtual fingerprints. And today emails, tweets, and texts give linguists a trove of lexical data to examine in criminal cases. But many experts remain skeptical that this kind of work has the scientific basis necessary for use in high-stakes cases. We explore linguistic evidence in court in the age of social media.
- Larry Solan professor of law and director of the Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition at Brooklyn Law School.
- Natalie Schilling associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University
- Jim Fitzgerald retired supervisory special agent for the FBI; criminal profiler and forensic linguist. Author of "A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book I".
- David Harris professor of law, University of Pittsburgh. Author of "Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Rejects Science".
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