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B) Spend a few minutes individually thinking of further arguments you will use to back up your own opinion on the usefulness and types of punishment.
c) Now discuss the issue with other members of the small group using the arguments you have prepared. Do your best to support those who share a similar point of view and try to dissuade those who don't agree with you. (Use cliches of persuasion, agreement/disagreement).
6. In arguments involving suggestions, partial agreement and disagreement certain functional phrases of attack and response1 are used. The tactics of attack may be tentative or direct.
a) As yoy read the extracts below pay attention to the difference between the two:
— Isn't it just possible that new evidence will throw quite a different light on the case? -
— Might it not be true that the boy didn’t mean any harm. (tentative)
— Surely you'd admit that the offender has violated the basic principle. (direct)
— Don't you think that the prosecutor has built his case on the erroneous assumption?
— All of these things are racial slurs, aren't they? (direct)
b) Complete each of the following conversations below by supplementing the appropriate tactics of attack of the first speaker:
Possibly (may be so) I'd agree with you to a certain extent.
I see your point.
That may well be.
I see what you mean, but...
c) As you read the text below note down the functional phrases of attack and response:
Juror 1: It's a tough decision to make, isn't it? Don't you think that it's an awful responsibility to have the future of that lad in our hands? I feel so sorry for him, he's not yet 21.
Juror 2: Come off it! You can't be serious! He didn't just take the money, he also beat up the old lady. He's guilty, it's written all over his face. It's our social duty to keep our streets safe at night.
Juror 3: I agree with your last statement, but surely you admit the evidence for convicting this young man is rather flimsy? Wouldn't you say that we need something more definite?
1 See Appendix (p. 289).
Juror 2: Ideally that's quite true, but there weren't any other witnesses. As I see it he had the motive, he has no alibi and the old lady recognized him...
Juror 1: Hang on a minute. I'd like to point out that she only thought she recognized him. Isn't it just possible that a scared old lady of 76 could have been mistaken ?
Juror 2: Fair enough, but it's all we have to go on. All the fingers seem to point at him.
Juror 3: That may well be, but strong suspicion isn't enough to put someone away in prison. If you ask me, even if he is guilty, the shock of arrest and coming to trial will be enough to stop him making the same mistake again.
Juror 4: I see what you mean, but the punishment's not our problem. We're here only to decide whether he's guilty or not. And the point is he was carrying a knife when the police picked him up, wasn't he?
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