“Any statement you make can be used against you in a court of law”
Corpus Delicti is a blog devoted to documenting various legal cases in which Forensic Linguistics has played a key role, with a view to making the discipline better-known especially among students of both language and law.
Forensic linguistics is a branch of Applied Linguistics that bears close ties with the Law. FL applies linguistic knowledge and methods to the study of documents with a potentially legal import in contexts such as crime investigation, trial, and judicial procedure. Among other things, forensic linguists study suicide letters, ransom notes, threats, etc. and they also investigate ‘language crimes’ such as perjury, blackmail or incitement. FL has also been used in more modern issues such as the potentially legal implications of language used on the Internet (hate speech, cyberbullying, ideological or religious radicalization through tweets, Facebook posts, videos, etc) or even graffiti.
The origin of LF quite recent (approximately 60s), and even more so is its acceptance and continued use as a legal discipline (it began to gain relevance in the 90s) so it is a quite unknown area especially in the Spanish-speaking community, since in the English community it has already been established for some years.
Surely, we are all familiar with famous cases that we did not know were solved or investigated using FL. Cases of suicide notes by celebrities have been studied (from Virginia Woolf to Kurt Cobain), and there are other world-famous cases such as the “Unabomber”, which was a key case for introducing FL as legal evidence (since it was key to the resolution of that case, identifying the criminal through the analysis of his writings).
Corpus Delicti is the brain-child of a group of students who became acquainted with FL while prepairing their End-of-Degree Project (or TFG, as it is known in Spanish) for their English Studies degree at the University of Granada, under the supervision of Dr. Juan Santana, who warned us that any statement we made here could be used against us by the TFG commitee!!!!
We hope you like it!