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Which logical fallacies are commonly used and actually allowed in courtroom arguments?


Legal proceedings are not about argumentation. Setting aside extreme cases, the conclusion is predetermined by the client’s financial resources. The juries are hand-picked, with the consent of the ‘defense’ attorney, to guarantee an agreed-upon verdict. The judge is an amoral bureaucrat.

As for ‘logical fallacies’, the prosecutor will omit words, such as ‘not’, from documents and the defense lawyers will sit there sheepishly. Another ‘trick’, if you can call it that, is to inflate, deflate, or miscontextualize facts to signal the desired verdict to the jury. (“It says here you play tennis. So you like to hit things?”) The defense attorney will fail to introduce exculpatory information, including confessions from actual perpetrators, because all they know how to do is walk people into plea-bargains.

As for the court-rooms ‘battles’ that most people believe to occur, they are usually about prosecuting someone who was pulled over for having an expired tag and turned out to have drug paraphernalia in the car. If the actual facts are truly in dispute, then what happens in court is completely ceremonial, having been locked in place by the client’s funds, or lack thereof.

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