Adaptation: What Post-Conviction Relief Practitioners in Death Penalty Cases Might Learn from Popular Storytellers About Narrative Persuasion

Law and Popular Culture, Current Legal Issues 2004, Vol. 7, 2004

28 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2011

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

This paper addresses how the post-conviction relief practitioner might incorporate popular storytelling practices from creative non-fiction and popular film to better serve the interests of a condemned inmate. How to enhance the possibilities of telling a more effective and transformative story — without manipulation or deceit — without reducing the artful narrative practice of writing the Statement of the Case, or the narrative component of argumentation in a post-conviction relief to paint-by-numbers formulae.

This paper also aspires to better locate and understand the narrative dimensions of post-conviction relief brief writing, and, perhaps, to begin to suggest a relationship between popular and legal storytelling in post-conviction relief practice. Several examples or ‘illustrations’ that may suggest possibilities for innovative practices for post-conviction relief brief writers are provided. Specifically, it is suggested that contemporary non-fiction and film may provide suggestive possibilities to the brief writer designing and drafting the Statement of the Case or developing narrative themes for translating and converting the spine of legal argument into persuasive story.

Keywords: post-conviction relief, narrative, film, creative non-fiction, persuasion

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Philip N., Adaptation: What Post-Conviction Relief Practitioners in Death Penalty Cases Might Learn from Popular Storytellers About Narrative Persuasion (2004). Law and Popular Culture, Current Legal Issues 2004, Vol. 7, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1794003

Philip N. Meyer (Contact Author)

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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