Words on Trial. Forensic Linguistics in Criminal, Civil and Intelligence Investigations

Foredrag om Forensic Linguistics ved Professor Robert A. Leonard ved Hofstra University, New York.


How could a death row inmate’s future depend upon the testimony of a linguist?

A young murder suspect claims he was beaten by the Chicago police in 1998, and asked to sign a paper to be allowed a phone call. Once signed, paper and phone were taken away. The next time he saw the paper, a confession had been typed over it. He has now spent 17 years in prison for a murder he says he did not commit.

Analysis by Dr. Leonard’s Forensic Linguistic Innocence Project indicates he was not the author of that confession.

Who is the CIA agent Chris who ordered a double murder?

In 2012 a man and woman were murdered in Tennessee, USA. The dead mother was found holding her still alive 7-month-old son. The murderers were urged to commit the murder by a CIA agent named Chris—who was actually the invention of two women who hated the dead couple for defriending the women on Facebook.

Analysis by Dr. Leonard’s team shows there was no Chris other than the women. The women were found guilty of 1st degree murder this May.

More information on the “Facebook” murders.

More information on Hofstra University’s Master of Arts degree in Forensic Linguistics, and on Prof. Leonard’s work.

RSVP no later than May 30 to tkaroli@hum.ku.dk