Retelling the Darkest Story: Mystery, Suspense, and Detectives in a Brief Written on Behalf of a Condemned Inmate
45 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2007
Portions of this Article are adapted from an initial draft of a narrative primer suggested by Amsterdam’s work and materials to assist attorneys representing condemned inmates. As a director of a legal writing program, I believe these tools will provide an invaluable supplement to the analytical skills and organizational principles traditionally taught in law school legal writing and reasoning courses. This Article is limited in its scope, however, as it provides a reading of the narratives in one brief. This brief was not chosen because it provides a model of how best to do this work or because of some uniqueness in its narrative dimensions such as time, plot, and character. Just the opposite; indeed, although it is carefully written and well-constructed, in many ways, it is not atypical in the story told or the form of the telling. It is a representative brief that tells a powerful yet recurring story. he theme of the story is, in a sense, about betrayal; it is a story that attempts to affirm the importance of the value of procedural justice.
Keywords: Narrative, Mystery, Analytical Skills, Reasoning, Brief, Organizational Principles
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