Daily Archives: June 11, 2008

The invisible “trend”: banned words

Alternate title: It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid…

From CrimProf and Appellate Law, this story about a growing “trend” where judges are preventing witnesses from using words that are legal conclusions. Sound familiar? The springboard for this story is the Tory Bowen case (what I call the “banned word” trial), where a State judge precluded her use of the word “rape”, among others, to describe her ordeal and she sued in Federal court.

The story cites some sort of national trend – and that voice of prosecutorial reason Joshua Marquis – in making its point.