To Kirt Wilson:
I, too, have wondered about the various rhetorical dimensions of
both the trial and its outcome. What seems relatively clear to me is that
the jury privelaged appeals to emotion over the evidence. The jury's
decision demonstrates a very sad state of affairs in our country. The
general public is too easily led by what Gorgias termed "word magic."
The case proves to me that it is not justice but language ability which
seems to prevail. Innocence or guilt seems irrelevant, or at least secondary
to the ability to persuade... "the available means of persuasion."
What this trial has done for me is heighten my consciousness of the
need to teach critical thinking, rhetoric and composition to students so they
are not made vulnerable by deliberate attempts to hide the evidence through
"word magic." I'd like to see young students, high school and college, become
more rhetorically aware! That is the best defense against allowing this type
of travesty of justice to happen again.