Do you solemnly affirm that all the evidence you are providing in this case is accurate, entirely accurate, and nothing but the truth?
The situation was this: three hundred of us, being citizens of the United States, were randomly picked and summoned to the Kent County Circuit Courthouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan on a Monday morning.
The weather was miserable and I was feeling equally so. Out of this three hundred, thirty were chosen to potentially serve on the jury for a trial led by Judge Redford on the eleventh floor.
I was one of the first five and ended up being one of the fourteen who were selected after a questioning process to determine our bias and history. We were then seated in the jury box, where we waited for instructions, and were not allowed any snacks.
I was surprised to be summoned to the courthouse, for I had indicated my profession on the form I had received in the mail a few weeks back as “writer/journalist.”
I imagined that lawyers, judges and jury members would not want to involve a writer-journalist in the judicial process.
I was not so sure if I was an appropriate journalist as I do not consider my writing – even the non-fiction – to be journalism, yet I do make sure to employ facts, truth and verifiable research.
Nevertheless, the idea of civic duty as a fundamental part of American law and citizenship led me to feel more eager than disheartened. My childhood interest in legal shows, books by Grisham, and my own court experiences have made me want to be selected – and I was.
Any of us could find ourselves selected as jurors. The jury process provides a solid case for the education of citizens, especially the model of liberal education at the college where I am employed.
Twelve strangers are requested to listen to the facts presented and assess the declaration of witnesses, and then to have an organised discussion to reach a consensus about a verdict of guilty or not.
This combination of people demonstrates a levelling out of economic or social class, race, gender, and other distinguishing factors into a room full of citizens. We are transformed from individual entities to a jury, a collective, an amalgamation.
The jury that has been convened for the case of the People of the State of Michigan v. Michael Antwone Jordan is asked to listen and deliberate. The available evidence is supported by documentation.
It is close to midday, and the room we are in is stuffy with no windows. The majority of us are famished while certain individuals may be anxious of the task at hand.
I have been reflecting upon the theme of truth and reality lately, not just in the context of this magazine. After my article about the funeral of former president Gerald R. Ford in Grand Rapids was accepted, I went through the process of fact-checking.
Like a medical procedure, it was not pleasant. The fact-checker required my notes, research, press releases, contact information for my brother, father, and college friend, in order to confirm a few minor comments.
This was the nature of journalism, I thought. Standards have been heightened recently due to some embarrassing situations.
In the past, I was content with relying on the authority of the writer, or the essayist, who was both separate and a part of the individual and the citizen.
This writer also held other powers, such as being able to record information, express their story, and choose what facts to reveal and when. They could make notes and respond to questions, still potentially being wrong and exposed.
The chairs we are sitting on are definitely costly, seeming to be of the same calibre as the Herman Miller Aeron model.
This, combined with the judge’s instructions to not discuss the case with anyone outside of the court and not to research it on the internet, implies that this trial could be a long one.
The defendant, Michael Antwone Jordan (MAJ), is accused of the obscure offence of “uttering and publishing,” and the jury is only allowed to consider the facts presented by the attorneys and the judge.
We are told (and later research confirms this) that when someone is charged with “uttering and publishing,” it means they are accused of creating and presenting a false document as if it were real (in this case: two checks, hence two counts).
MAJ is accused of taking two paychecks not made out to him, forging the payee’s signature, and then signing them as “Pay to Michael Antwone Jordan.” He then deposited them in his bank account.
This could also be referred to as forgery, plagiarism, mail fraud, or theft. When I looked at him, he didn’t look back.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ander Monson was prosecuted for seven counts of felony credit card fraud when he was a minor. He is uncertain whether he must disclose this on job applications or during the voir dire process.
Mrs. Greta Van Timmeren said if they weren’t sure, they ought to disclose. However, Ander Monson chooses to keep his criminal past hidden.
It is possible that he wants to be on the jury, even though his nondisclosure of this fact might come back to haunt him. Despite this, Ander Monson seems unconcerned.
It is a fact that some of the details in the Free Press story are inaccurate (my identity was not “the Black Wizard”), but they are presented as though they are true. It raises questions about their fact-checking.
The article also contains a great line about hacker culture: “Monson is most likely a solitary person…. the commonality between the black, white, and Asian youths is their intelligence, their brightness, and an uncertainty of what to do with it.”
At the outset of MAJ’s jury selection, all fourteen randomly chosen members were white. MAJ was black, and most of the people in the courtroom were white. Everyone’s attention was drawn when one woman’s cell phone suddenly rang.
Norman Miller, the defence attorney, proceeded to question and excuse potential jurors in an attempt to make the jury more representative of the city’s diversity.
This tactic was successful, and two black women were chosen, one of whom declared that she would never convict anyone no matter what. Not believing her, she was dismissed, and another black juror was chosen in her place.
After the defence and prosecution agreed that everyone was acceptable, the jury adjourned for the day, with the trial slated to begin the following morning. We were told to keep quiet about any specifics of the trial and left with our task, hushed.
At the age of 32, I had to get a colonoscopy, due to my mother’s death from colon cancer when she was 33, and I was just 7.
My doctor suggested it as a wise precaution and assured me that the hospital accounting would cover it as not a screening colonoscopy, since I am younger than the age for which it is usually covered.
He also emphasised that I should make sure to tell them of my mother’s death from colon cancer, as this is the important factor for them to consider.
I am filled with apprehension when I enter the medical facility, even though I have been assured that I will be unconscious during the procedure and have no recollection of it afterwards.
This brings up the question of how accurate a fact can be if it can’t be kept in the memory.
I inquire of the likely anesthesiologist about the drug used for amnesia and am told that it impedes the action of the cerebral cortex, which inhibits the brain’s capability to create new memories. This is the last thing I recall before I am rendered unconscious.
My wife and the companion who drove me to the treatment both informed me of some things I allegedly said after which I do not recall. It seems I attempted to show them the frailty of my hospital robe (which had a broken strap: I recall this).
This is something I would normally do, yet I have no recollection of it, just as expected, and this is somewhat alarming: to act without having the capacity to store that action in my memory, and to act seemingly without awareness yet as per my notion of what I might do.
I do not have personal experience of the events that took place, however, I do concede to their occurrence. As a means of verification, I could request images from the incident, talk to people who witnessed it, and collect testimonies.
The jury (as well as any witnesses called to the stand) are expected to swear an oath. While the wording may slightly differ each time, it generally follows the same structure:
“Do you solemnly swear that the evidence you are about to give in this matter is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” This phrase is so familiar to us due to its prevalence in television and film.
It is a recognizable trope that offers comfort to all that are present. We can relate to it and feel as though we understand the situation.I have been in this situation before, in the jury box – not in real life, but on television.
The assistant prosecutor’s opening statement was filled with references to programs like CSI, using them as examples of the proof and testimony we should expect to see and what sort of evidence would be sufficient for a conviction.
She warned us that the process would not be as exciting and decisive as it is on TV. We may all be aware that fiction is different from reality, but it’s difficult not to be influenced by what we see in the media, be it on CNN or Law & Order reruns. How can we not be influenced in the absence of our own experience?
The courtroom experience is generally dull and tedious, as it often involves methodical, rigid protocols. Nevertheless, the proceedings can suddenly become serious, especially for the witnesses.
They must adhere to a strict code of honesty, with their statements potentially determining the defendant’s future.
Ms. Jan Kittel Mann, a representative of the state from the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, gave her opening statement, underscoring the evidence she would present (police reports, witness accounts, digital records, and some original documents).
The prosecution maintained that they had fulfilled the “burden of proof.” However, the defence argued that the prosecution had failed to meet the burden of proof.
I had headed to San Francisco a couple weeks after the trial and was informing my brother Ben, his wife, and their newborn of my successful colonoscopy and the peculiarly odd nature of the procedure.
I couldn’t think of any other word to use instead of procedure and its plainness. Ben queried me as to why I had gone through the colonoscopy and I answered, Due to our mother’s death from colon cancer, stupid.
He then counteracted me with, No, she didn’t have colon cancer: she died of ovarian cancer, which had spread to her colon, and that is not the same thing. This completely took me by surprise, especially because he was the younger brother.
I didn’t even attempt to debate him, which was unlike me. The more I pondered it, the more I questioned myself. I desired to blame this on the interference of my cerebral cortex.
The Believer fact-checker found numerous errors in my essay. One of these was a minor one where I got the title of New Order’s first single wrong, but this is a serious mistake by music-geek standards.
Other errors were more significant, such as my father’s explanation that he and my mother didn’t actually work for the Peace Corps, but rather he was assigned to Ivory Coast as part of a U.S. Agency for International Development program funded by the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Economic Development (CRED).
My stepmother later emailed to add that my mother was really employed at the Ivory Coast headquarters of the Peace Corps while he was teaching at the University of Abidjan.5 This fact-checking process has become an ongoing family exploration.6
At the trial of MAJ, the defence attorney questioned the accuracy of the statements given by the prosecution’s witnesses (there were eight or more).
These were mostly minor points, such as asking one victim whether they were paid every Friday or a specific Friday, as the victim had not been employed for long enough to receive more than one paycheck.
Additionally, a discrepancy was found between a victim’s statement and the police report. This was pursued by the defence, causing the witness to waver in their testimony. Even the minor witnesses were pressed on minor details, such as mistaking a deposit slip for a withdrawal slip.
Research has indicated that the accuracy of eyewitness testimony is not reliable enough for us to trust it over other forms of evidence. We are liable to be influenced by social and psychological factors, and can be wrong even when we feel certain.
This is particularly distressing as our sense of identity is composed of countless memories, some of which are easily accessible, while others are only triggered by something as seemingly trivial as a certain song, smell, or word.
If memories can’t be trusted, how can we have confidence in our sense of self? Or, is it possible for something stable to form from this unstable foundation?
In the jury room while we discussed the case, I shared that I find this to be the most fascinating part of the trial. We could have easily gotten into some deep philosophical conversations.
One of the more mature members of the jury chuckled and commented that this was nothing new to him. He remarked that he often forgot things from the day before, and another elder agreed. Everyone started laughing. At my youthful age, I had no idea what it was like to forget.
It is a valid question to ask what we know and how we know it. We have a tendency to accept statements as fact without fully examining their validity, and once we do this, the information becomes part of our story.
We usually rely on trusted sources to provide us with information, like scientific journals, magazines, consensus, experience, and common sense. This is evident in a courtroom setting, where the prosecutor evaluates the credibility of a witness by the manner in which they tell the story.
The doctor warned me that the insurance company would take into account whether or not my mother had succumbed to colon cancer when determining whether or not to pay for the procedure.
After my mother’s passing, my brother and I discussed the actual cause of death, which happened after the colonoscopy was booked and the claim had been filed.
As a result, I am at risk of appearing to have committed fraud by supposedly claiming my mother died of something she didn’t, in order to get a free colonoscopy.
For the past few months I have had the task of reading through 150 book-length nonfiction submissions for a national prize. As the sole initial reader, I am asked to narrow them down to 4 or 5 to send to the final judge.
I anticipated the experience to be enjoyable, and it was – for the first 20 manuscripts or so. Afterward, I found it tedious to read one piece after another of self-proclaimed truths.
Every submission seemed to be saying, “Listen to what happened to me“, with a solidified I based on evidence and recollections. This I, however, acts as a barrier, obstructing me from seeing the whole truth.
My own thoughts can often be quite intrusive as I find myself increasingly self-aware of its presence in my writings; it even commences the majority of my emails, as if every single correspondence was meant to be a reflection of my own egoism.
When I record my experiences, I often have to analyse them through the perspective of myself, believing in its legitimacy or realism.
The members of the jury are provided with a pad and a pen to jot down notes, even though the court recorder is recording all the proceedings in greater detail.
We will have access to the court recorder’s transcript in the jury chamber, however, it will not be a part of the public documents. Moreover, our notes will not be made public either.
As I peruse MAJ and jot down notes on the official jury notepads, I can’t help but feel selfish, already considering this as material for a future essay.
The pads were intended to serve as a way to document the case and reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty, but I find myself using them to record facts for later use. This is the economics of writing nonfiction, a concept I’m all too familiar with.
Later, when we’re waiting in the jury room, one of the jurors inquires about my scribbling. I tell him I’m taking notes for an essay about this experience, whatever that may be. He laughs, possibly believing I’m joking, and says, “Well, you’re the writer.”
The pads are small and the pens are inadequate for detailed record-keeping, so the physical process of it is awkward.
On top of that, there’s an ethical issue since there are tangible consequences at stake here. I ponder how often “real risk” is invoked in essays, memoirs and most of the nonfiction I read (and possibly write)?
I believe that the issue is partly caused by the overuse of the pronoun I in nonfiction. It is wrong to assume that a single person’s experience, without any outside connection, is interesting enough to be a primary focus.
The text must acknowledge its own instability, instead of just claiming the primacy of I. It is true that everyone should be respected and given attention, and that understanding other people’s experiences can be rewarding.
However, it is not enough to just tell a story. It must be an art form, with each sentence being crafted and honed.
When a story is being written and sold to a publisher, the writer should be aware of the story, the self, the material and the implications of revealing them. In conclusion, the text must make something of itself.
When considered in detail, many–or even all–things become interesting. Yet, because of the memoirified superreal live-blogging culture, we feel obligated to matter to strangers without any sort of modulating.
We all have the potential to become content creators, even if we no longer have the capacity or desire to read.
I have a deep appreciation for the stories of others, and I enjoy engaging with them one-on-one.
However, when I read through hundreds of manuscripts centred around the same theme of exploring self without any external influences, it gets tedious very quickly.
The sheer magnitude of individual entities, each with their own lives and facts, is too much to comprehend and thus it becomes uninteresting. I am still interested in the stories of each individual, though.
It is our responsibility as writers, readers, publishers, and especially teachers of writing to urge our students to think of themselves as respected and worth studying. They are citizens who can serve on juries and judge evidence presented by both sides.
We might believe in liberal education and the significance of diverse individual stories, leading to an abundance of writers all drafting personal essays and memoirs.
Despite what one might expect, these are often quite similar in that they explore the writer’s or their family’s traumas and create an aware narrative.
As a side note, I find myself engaging in this behaviour as well. There appears to be no way to prevent it, as I ponder the I and analyse myself (which I admit is not a bad thing).
Perhaps the solution is to focus on researching, taking notes, and finding some other topic to focus on and go beyond the self . People are aware of this, but I don’t believe the current MFA generation is taking it seriously enough.
We don’t recognize the fact that so many of us are doing the same thing. On the bright side, those who are not engaging in this behaviour might have their work stand out more.
At times, some stories are so extraordinary, conscious, and well-crafted that they trigger a deep interest in us; catching us in their spell.
I remember one of the manuscripts I passed on to the final judge of a book prize which told of her harrowing experience of survival from incest.
If this was true (which we cannot be sure of, since this type of nonfiction does not allow for any doubt; it needs to be taken as absolute), the story had enough weight and mass to attract and maintain the reader’s attention.
However, the majority of the manuscripts I received were not as remarkable; they were mostly tales of divorce, family issues, death, sexual encounters, childhood nightmares that had extended to adulthood, allusions to Montaigne, and epiphanies that happened every chapter like a background sound.
They were not that sophisticated. These writers assume (and were probably told in workshops, or by me) that their tales were important in their own right.
Despite this, something can be done with them: they can be given importance if delved into further with flair, a point of view, and some kind of activity to resist the urge of the I to admit, to voice its dull narrative.
In 2006, Cris Mazza, a writer who is renowned for the term chick lit, was chosen as the guest editor for a special “No First-Person” issue of the literary magazine Other Voices.
This issue was composed of stories told from perspectives other than the first-person, which Mazza believes is an increasing trend in modern fiction that she objects to.
I have a negative outlook towards the current widespread use of the first-person point of view in literature. This is not to say that I do not appreciate the technique itself, but I am not fond of its commonality.
If we look back to when the majority of fiction was written with a minimalist approach, it would not be incorrect to say that not every narrative is better served by minimalism.
Yet, when a certain style becomes in fashion and is used excessively, the intricacies and allure of the technique are lost, leaving only its most basic elements.
When used correctly, the first-person POV can demonstrate the problems with its over-utilization. Oftentimes, its use has nothing to do with the actual content of the book.
I cannot deny the importance of I, but I am concerned with how frequently it is used without scrutiny, particularly in nonfiction, where the I is not intended to be a character.
I think our culture has become too invested in the idea of the I, leading to a demand for unaltered testimony and an expectation of reality in all fiction.
This has resulted in the creation of characters who come across as overly self-absorbed without being aware of it.
What is more, these stories lean too heavily on the self-importance of memoirs, which are backed up by factual evidence, and do not pay enough attention to their form or what fiction is supposed to be achieving.
As we’re summoned to the courtroom, the defence rests without calling any witnesses, including MAJ, and so I take this as a break from the essay and its subject: the question of MAJ’s guilt or innocence.
I’m thankful for this diversion from the essay’s focus on me. We are not here for amusement, there’s something tangible at stake.
If the testimony is not trustworthy, we could make a mistake and send MAJ to prison for a long time. MAJ doesn’t look at us in the elevated benches on the right side of the court, which I am grateful for.
If the incestuous story doesn’t turn out to be true, then our time, money, emotions and catharsis will have been wasted. At least we hope it was a good story.
At the conclusion of the trial, Miller, the defence attorney, made his closing statement. He argued that the testimonies from the witnesses were slightly conflicting and proposed that the (white) victims may have colluded to falsely accuse the (black) defendant and to fraudulently obtain the six hundred dollars from the bank.
Miller suggested that if the court could not depend upon the witnesses’ accounts of the minor details, then they should not be able to convict MAJ.
Furthermore, since MAJ had put his real social security number on the endorsed checks, he did not appear to be attempting to conceal anything; therefore, it was more plausible that the witnesses had paid MAJ for a service but refused to admit it in court.
There is not much evidence to back up the defendant’s case, as he has not spoken up to offer his own perspective. This is likely because he was recently released from prison, so he would probably not be inclined to incriminate himself if he took the stand.
As a result, the only story presented is that of the prosecution, which is that the defendant is so foolish and is a recidivist criminal, so the witnesses have no reason to lie, and that the documents speak for themselves. It is significant to note that what we seek is a narrative to make sense of the evidence. We tend to comprehend information in terms of stories.
Kittel Mann, the prosecutor, imparts a personal anecdote in response to the defence. She recounts how she had been absolutely, positively certain her glasses were left at a restaurant, yet after searching feverishly, they were discovered in her office.
“Our memories are not always accurate,” she reminds us. She requests that we make our own judgments on the dependability of the witnesses.
Mr. Miller stresses that MAJ’s conduct does not indicate an intention to conceal anything. He inquires how foolish MAJ is believed to be.
He remarks that the prosecution’s narrative–these small flaws in the witnesses’ accounts–“simply doesn’t fit,” thus the onus of proof lies with the prosecution. It has not managed to meet its requirement, so we must conclude that MAJ is not guilty.
The court clerk chose two substitutes (one individual had requested to be excused due to having small kids to look after) who were thanked and asked to depart before the ultimate deliberation.
I was confident I would be chosen as one of them: it would be the most suitable cosmic answer to my endeavours to pen down everything. But unfortunately, I was not.
We all adjourn to the jury room for a break and when we come back, I am elected the foreperson, which I am more pleased about than I should be. Everyone can tell that I am glad and I’m embarrassed by the way my joy is so evident.
We vote anonymously on paper and the result is 11-1, guilty. We discuss and though some of us stay silent, there is no real argument against. We talk about the defendant’s lack of testimony and credibility and the unlikelihood of the story he told us.
Eight prosecution witnesses testified and the defendant did not. As a jury and as Americans, we take this to mean he had the opportunity to speak for himself but chose not to. We want access to his story, his experience, and we are not getting it with the defendant.
Nor am I able to tell his story in this essay. I could assume it, connect some dots and make some fiction, but I choose not to.
Readers are complicit in the difficulty, because they desire drama, as well as a personal account of events.
We crave a narrative that is exaggerated and sensational, and when the individual in question is conscious of this and alters their story in order to garner more public attention, create a bestseller, or get a movie deal, we become enraged at the individual and the publishers who aided them.
Nonetheless, we should also be indignant with ourselves, as it is our own wishes that have been so blatantly responded to.
I had a suspicion that one person either voted “not guilty” out of initial instinct or desired to bring the matter up for debate, which is commendable.
We took another vote and I read off each one, with the result being “guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, and at last, dramatically, guilty.”
We, as a jury and not as individuals, have determined MAJ to be guilty on two counts of uttering and publishing. The decision took us less than an hour. At that point, I pressed the red button on the wall, which would signal the court clerk.
We re-enter the court and, as foreperson, I am asked if the jury has reached a decision. I answer in the affirmative. The judge directs me to read the verdict; I am unexpectedly apprehensive. I proceed to read the verdict.
The defence then requests each jury member be polled to make sure that our verdict is unanimous. We each affirm that we voted guilty. This finishes the process and the judge thanks us formally.
Afterwards, a man on the jury inquires if I can provide him with a copy of the story. I write down his contact information. We depart and leave the jury badges in the room.
The defence attorney accosted me after the jury had reached its guilty verdict and wondered if there had been a particular piece of evidence that tipped the balance.
I replied that there was nothing in particular, but that the defendant’s inability to provide a plausible explanation had weighed in the jury’s decision. Noting the man’s flushed face, I realised that this was his initial case and asked if I thought he had done well.
I reassured him that my opinion was that he had done a good job, although I could not be sure, and mentioned that he was Law & Order-worthy.
I had suggested to the jury room earlier that they should watch the 1957 film 12 Angry Men (directed by Sidney Lumet). I had mentioned that it takes place in the same room we were in and George C. Scott was in it.
Something I hadn’t realised was that George C. Scott was not actually in the movie. He was in the 1997 remake, which was for TV.
The plot of the movie goes like this: the foreman asked for an anonymous vote and after tallying them all up, it was 11 votes for guilty and 1 for not guilty. This made me excited because it was similar to the situation we were in.
The film also makes a point about memory and how it can be unreliable. It also touches on racism since the jury was all white men. I highly recommend that they watch it.
It’s possible that our memories can be seen as fabricated, as they are often changed to suit our own perspectives and the stories that define our lives. This notion is becoming more plausible, as evidenced by the prevalence of fictional films.
It’s time that we accept this notion and recognize that we are creating our own versions of events.
Studies conducted by researchers have revealed that the brain is inclined towards making stories out of facts. People are more likely to remember the facts if they get them in the form of a story instead of a list.
Additionally, legal arguments are seen as more persuasive when they are presented as a narrative.
The New York Times article discussed how personal narratives are incorporated into the wider culture, such as redemption, joy being ruined by sorrow, and “American cultural narratives, of emancipation or atonement, of Horatio Alger advancement, of epiphany and second chances”.
Legal research and common sense both agree with this concept. On further contemplation, it is understandable that we interpret events and facts in our lives, and even fabricate them, based on our current mindset and in connection to the stories we have created.
I have used the story of the jury in 12 Angry Men, my confusion over my mother’s death, my opinion on nonfiction, and the story of my unnecessary colonoscopy to attempt to find the truth.
I have thought of my criminal history as an interesting event in my life, as it was not serious enough to land me in jail, but I was still able to go on to obtain a college degree, get married, obtain graduate degrees, get good teaching jobs, and get published.
This is like a redemption for me, and I have tried to fit the stories together to make them a satisfying read. I am aware that I cannot tell the whole truth on paper, and what I can remember may not be completely accurate.
There are people who have more difficulties with their memories than I do, like hardcore drug users, binge drinkers, and those with biological or psychological problems, which makes it hard for them to rely on their memories at all.
These people have to find other ways to remember, like notes, photographs, transcripts, memories from others, the police blotter, evidence, or their own stories.
Those with a damaged hippocampus (the area of the brain that is responsible for memory activity) cannot envision the future, because they have difficulty relating it to their past.
On the other hand, people without such an impairment are able to both create a future based on their past as well as refashion their recollections to fit the present, convincing themselves that they are right and that they are certain of it.
At the end of the day, Michael Antwone Jordan–the actual person in the defendant’s chair–is the focal point of this entire situation. The documents prove that he had to stand for the jury’s verdict. I can’t remember if he faced us when I announced the verdict.
I was too anxious. I’m not sure what the verdict, the essay, or the self is truly about. All I can do is speak for myself and try to provide a strong case. I can’t provide a face or voice for Michael; he is without a story and found guilty. All I can do is stand up and only speak for myself.
At the conclusion of the trial, two people are picked randomly to be alternates and are not asked to join the deliberations with the other twelve.
At a certain point during the trial, a witness was asked if they knew the name Michael Jordan – and it was awesome!
On March 27, 1993, a representative asserted, with numerous inaccuracies, that a sixteen year old had the smarts, scheming, and associations to break into the computer systems of two major financial institutions, as reported by the police.
The piece presented this apprehension as part of what is said to be the newest occurrence of purported credit card fraud among teens in the suburbs. In order to gain access to the article in their records, since I had lost my hard copy, I was asked to give my credit card information.
I cannot simply say that it is not true, for there is a possibility that I may have committed an error by not revealing this information and that, by revealing it now, I could be subject to legal repercussions. Thus, there is a risk of tangible results by expressing this.
5. It seemed the case that my assumption was inaccurate, yet it wound up being valid once more.
6. A type of personal humiliation practised as a form of ritual.
Those who are curious about the topic can refer to Elizabeth F. Loftus’ Eyewitness Testimony from 1987 for more information.
I had difficulty recalling this quote accurately, and instead remembered it as, “Tell the truth and you make it beautiful, no matter what,” which is quite distinct. Nevertheless, the actual quote is, “Say it clearly and you make it beautiful, no matter what” (Bruce Weigl, “The Impossible”).
9. As I was working on this essay, I was informed that my insurance claim was refused since they interpreted it as being preventative and regular, not requested particularly based on family background.
To dispute the ruling, I am gathering evidence to back me up in my effort to shift the responsibility of evidence to the customer. Ahead of the process, they had promised that it would be completely paid for, yet that was not the case.
As a result, I might have to pay the bill due to a lack of fact-checking.
10. Gathering up and shredding the notebooks, I dug mine out of my pants, hoping I would be able to use it for checking the facts at some point.
11. I was unwilling to comply with the requirement of only sending five.
I don’t have the time to fact-check the manuscripts, or even do basic research to see if their claims are legitimate. The pull of many of them is that they are conveying their story, not necessarily how they interpret it.
There is a certain attraction to confessing something and having the reader believe it; it establishes an intimate connection. That is why we feel betrayed when a memoir turns out to be incorrect.
I now have a question to determine the quality of a manuscript: if it isn’t factual, do I still find it interesting? Would it still be worth reading if the narrator is a figment of imagination?
Though catharsis is not real and merely a construct, we should not criticise its presence. It may be a result of our need to believe that what we are seeing is true.
We look for non in nonfiction (Frey) and near- non in allegedly autobiographical fiction (LeRoy), as if we need more than the text itself to accept the gravity of the author. Regardless, we have had the response, and that is what matters.
14. Looking back, it was clear that this was a minor fiction. His mannerisms and faltering speech indicated as much.
Moreover, the judge made a great effort to display his esteem for both the prosecution and defence attorneys, and also to mention the long relationship he had with them. This seemed to serve as a way to even out the odds, and it turned out to be an effective fiction.
Differentiating the structure of the text while preserving the original context and semantic meaning can help to eliminate plagiarism. Ensuring that the markdown formatting is kept intact is also important.
Adam Drucker, better known by the alias Doseone, has said his initial attraction to rap was as much about the……