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46 Capital Instructions COMPREHENSION AS A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH* Peter M. Tiersma The importance of reform is most starkly evident when comprehension is truly a life-or-death matter. We need not delve into the details of death penalty jurisprudence here. Suffice it to say that in most American jurisdictions . . . Read more
47 Navigating the Rocky Road Bethany K. Dumas When I think of Peter Tiersma, two words come to mind immediately: steadfastness and success, hallmarks of his professional life as a legal scholar. When I think of Peter Tiersma and jury instructions, the expressions that come to mind are comprehensibility and . . . Read more
44 Sizzling Irons SPEAKING OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE Frances Rock In his 1990 paper “The Language of Perjury,” Peter Tiersma revisits the story of Tristan and Isolde. He notes that the medieval practice of trial by ordeal (specifically the ordeal of grasping burning irons), on which the story hinges, has been . . . Read more