Balancing innocence and guilt: A metaphorical analysis of the US supreme court's rulings on victim impact statements

Jennifer K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the generative metaphor of the balanced scales of justice in the US Supreme Court's three rulings on the constitutionality of victim impact statements (VIS). The analysis argues that balancing the rights of defendants against the rights of victims risks unfair treatment for both - a result that is obscured by the metaphor in the Court's opinions. The paper identifies the liabilities of metaphorical reasoning in US Supreme Court rhetoric on victim impact statements and illustrates that metaphor is a necessary tool for critiquing those liabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-146
Number of pages18
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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