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Can You Answer the Question?
Unformatted Document Text:  7 09 they were thankful to me. 10 Q: Who made the final decision (about who took the project)? 11 A: I did. 12 (Then the chief judge asks the defendant why they started to have this 13 project and finally,) 14 Q: Why do you think they gave you the money? 15 A: Maybe as Hao chu fei 5 . In line 03 there is the variation of the question in line 14, “Why do you think they gave you the money?” which also repeats the question asked by the prosecution in Excerpt #2. Although the defendant makes at least three responses to the presiding judge’s question about the motive for the money: gratitude (line 04), good cooperation (line 06), and thankfulness (lines 08-09), yet, in line 14 the presiding judge asks again, “Why do you think they gave you the money?” showing the unwillingness to accept all those responses. This indicates that those responses are not the desired “answer” to the question. There can be various kinds of responses such as excuses or accounts or simply silence, yet there is only one single answer acceptable to the judge to the question—confession of guilt. This sequence of questioning demonstrates the persuasive attempt by the prosecution or the presiding judge to obtain confession from defendants. Don’t Try to Deny! Persuasion through Invalidating Sequences As mentioned above, defendants in Chinese criminal courts are presumed guilty but tend to refuse to admit guilt; instead, they create various kinds of accounts or excuses. The persistence on the part of the questioners and the resistance on the part of defendants lead to extended sequences of giving accounts-invalidating accounts. To use convincing counter-accounts thus becomes an essential part of the persuasive process. Three sets of rules are evoked in constructing invalidating questioning by the prosecution or the presiding judge in Chinese criminal courts: a) common sense knowledge (i.e., heuristic rules), b) cultural or moral standards (i.e., cultural rules); and c) evidential rules (i.e., factual rules). 5 I couldn’t find an English translation of this term. It roughly refers to the money one gives to another showing thankfulness and gratitude.

Authors: Chang, Yanrong.
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7
09 they were thankful to me.
10 Q: Who made the final decision (about who took the project)?
11 A: I did.
12 (Then the chief judge asks the defendant why they started to have this
13 project and finally,)
14
Q: Why do you think they gave you the money?
15 A: Maybe as Hao chu fei
5
.
In line 03 there is the variation of the question in line 14, “Why do you think they gave you the
money?” which also repeats the question asked by the prosecution in Excerpt #2. Although the defendant
makes at least three responses to the presiding judge’s question about the motive for the money: gratitude
(line 04), good cooperation (line 06), and thankfulness (lines 08-09), yet, in line 14 the presiding judge
asks again, “Why do you think they gave you the money?” showing the unwillingness to accept all those
responses. This indicates that those responses are not the desired “answer” to the question. There can be
various kinds of responses such as excuses or accounts or simply silence, yet there is only one single
answer acceptable to the judge to the question—confession of guilt. This sequence of questioning
demonstrates the persuasive attempt by the prosecution or the presiding judge to obtain confession from
defendants.
Don’t Try to Deny!
Persuasion through Invalidating Sequences
As mentioned above, defendants in Chinese criminal courts are presumed guilty but tend to refuse
to admit guilt; instead, they create various kinds of accounts or excuses. The persistence on the part of
the questioners and the resistance on the part of defendants lead to extended sequences of giving
accounts-invalidating accounts. To use convincing counter-accounts thus becomes an essential part of the
persuasive process. Three sets of rules are evoked in constructing invalidating questioning by the
prosecution or the presiding judge in Chinese criminal courts: a) common sense knowledge (i.e., heuristic
rules), b) cultural or moral standards (i.e., cultural rules); and c) evidential rules (i.e., factual rules).
5
I couldn’t find an English translation of this term. It roughly refers to the money one gives to another showing
thankfulness and gratitude.


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