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					                   The Trial as Ritual


historical forms of the ritual
   • Dunking
       (witch trials)
   • Battle
   • Endurance
   • Lot
       (remember the novel, The Lottery?)
   • Inquisition
                   The Trial as Ritual


basic idea
-- summon the ritual (social practice) to take life, liberty and
property
-- success in the ritual is what allows this. It’s what the ritual is
for
-- if life, liberty or property is taken through some other means,
it is illegitimate. But through the ritual of the trial the taking is
now “sanctified.”
                 The Trial as Ritual


ritualistic components today

 costumes
   • Judges wear dark robes
   • Judge has a gavel
   (England = wear wigs).
                 The Trial as Ritual


ritualistic components today

 atmosphere
   • swear on the Bible or on your honor


                                 Question:
                        What does that accomplish
                        socially? (Surely there is no
                                science to it)
                 The Trial as Ritual


ritualistic components today

 atmosphere
   • swear on the Bible or on your honor
   • stand when the judge enters and sit when the trial begins.
   • be well dressed.
   • chant when the judge arrives … “Oyez oyez”
                    For Trial as Ritual
West Virginia RulesThe Trial Courts

3.02 Opening Court
 ritualistic components today
When the judge enters the room for the purpose of opening court, the
sheriff, deputy, or designated bailiff shall say in a distinct voice:
    atmosphere
"Silence, all present will arise. The Judge of the _______ Court of
      • swear on
_______ County." the Bible or on your honor
     • stand when the judge enters and sit when the trial begins.
Then the sheriff, deputy, or designated bailiff shall make the following
      • be well dressed.
proclamation: "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Silence is now commanded under
pain of fine and imprisonment, while the Honorable Judge
      • chant when the judge arrives … “Oyez oyez”
_______________ of the ____________ Court of ____________
County, is sitting. All persons having motions to make, pleadings to
enter or actions to prosecute come forward and they shall be heard.
God save the State of West Virginia and this Honorable Court.“
                    For Trial as Ritual
West Virginia RulesThe Trial Courts

3.02 Opening Court Answer:
 ritualistic components today
            It’s enters seems for the
When the judgenaturethe room to be purpose of opening court, the
    atmosphereor designated purpose
sheriff, metaphysical. But it’sbailiff shall say in a distinct voice:
         deputy,
"Silence, all present will arise. The Judge of the _______ Court of
       seems to be something political
      • swear on
_______ County." the Bible or on your honor
        and social. Getting the right
                                                           trial begins.
     • stand when the judge enters and sit when thethe following
Then the sheriff, attitude frame.
                  deputy, or designated bailiff shall make
      • be well dressed.
proclamation: "Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Silence is now commanded under
                                         Question:
pain of fine and imprisonment, while the Honorable Judge
                               How is … “Oyez oyez”
      • chant when the judge arrivesthis Court of ____________
_______________ of the ____________ different from a
                           blessing given at to make, pleadings
County, is sitting. All persons having motionsChurch? What is to
enter or actions to prosecute come forward and they shall be heard.
                                    it that this DOES?
God save the State of West Virginia and this Honorable Court.“
                 The Trial as Ritual


ritualistic components today

 so what?

                                   Question:
                       If the trial process is ritualistic,
                        should that trouble us? What
                           does it matter if it is true?

              Question:
 Is the trial process we have today
     designed to get at the truth?
(From past
questions)
             0
             0
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posted:1/9/2011
language:English
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