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CRT 205

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The following activity helps you sharpen your skills in recognizing deceptive reasoning. The statements below are derived from the viewpoints in this chapter. Beside each one, mark the letter of the type of deceptive appeal being used. More than one type of tactic may be applicable. If you believe the statement is not any of the listed appeals, write N.

1. The Supreme Court has a greater obligation to protect the rights of victims than those of criminals.

2. It is clear to every intelligent person that the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, protection against cruel and unusual punishment, does not bar the use of victim impact statements.

3. Victim reforms will destroy the constitutional rights of the accused.

4. The conservative, prejudiced Supreme Court judges are too stupid to recognize the rights of the accused.

5. Every decent lawyer believes the harm a victim suffered because of a defendant should be considered when determining punishment.

6. Victims have absolutely no rights at all.

7. Everyone agrees that victim reforms are false promises made by legislators seeking to please voters worried about crime.

8. The victims’ rights movement developed because victims of crime felt they had no rights in the criminal justice system.

9. Thurgood Marshall, a pro-criminal, bleeding-heart liberal, considers the harm a victim suffered irrelevant in a criminal trial.

10. As Justice John Paul Stevens correctly points out, the defendant should have more rights than the state in a criminal trial.

11. Victim impact statements force juries to base their decisions on emotion rather than on objective facts.

12. As Deborah Kelly, chair of the American Bar Association’s Victims’ Committee, accurately concludes, victims’ satisfaction with the criminal justice system depends more on how they were treated than how severely their assailants were punished.

13. Everyone knows that judges let criminals off too easily. “There’s Always Someone Worse Off Than Yourself” Wiles/Rothco

14. Intelligent people agree that victims’ rights deny the accused the right to a fair and impartial trial.

15. As the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, William H. Rehnquist, states, there is no constitutional rule that excludes victim impact statements.

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