PRINT PAGEFinal Argument: Electronic Presentations

Written by Roy Black

Modern juries, spoiled by TV and CSI, want to see the evidence not just listen to a talking head describing it. The below link takes you to a creation (not a recreation) of the prosecution’s final argument in the Oklahoma City bombing case. I call it a creation because it doesn’t attempt to duplicate the actual argument, but instead, it presents the damning web of circumstantial evidence through a quite compelling video presentation — proof we are only limited by our imagination in delivering a story through graphics.

Oklahoma City Bombing Demonstrative Evidence

While the video presentation can be done by most budgets, the collection of this evidence could only have been done by the federal government. No private party would have this access to the evidence nor the money and bodies needed to collect and analyze it. The bombing occurred at 9:02 am and by noon the FBI had 500 agents on the ground in Oklahoma City. If only once I could command an army like that.

Just recently I received an email advertisement for a software program called WordRake. It suggested making a sign of one piece of advice. “I suggest you take it back to your office, type it up, blow it up, bold it up, and print it in a nice font. Make a sign out of it. Laminate the sign. Punch two holes at the top. Tie a string between the two holes. Hang it off the bookshelf in your office. And read it every day. Several times a day.” (Okay I get it is important to remember!):

IF YOU TELL THEM, THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE YOU;

IF YOU SHOW THEM, THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO AGREE.

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2 Comments to Final Argument: Electronic Presentations

  1. September 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Roy – since you write a lot about arguments, I add my 2 cents on one of the most beautiful opening arguments I’ve ever read (yes, even 17 years ago, I was spending my evenings reading the law). Hope you enjoy the read. Here’s the link:

    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mcveigh/prosecutionopen.html

    Tom Withers

  2. October 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    RE:

    IF YOU TELL THEM, THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE YOU;

    IF YOU SHOW THEM, THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO AGREE.

    Love this. You are absolutely right. It’s too bad many of us fall back to oral arguments when a visual presentation would work much better.

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