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    04.07.15 Professor Larry Solan Appears on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show
    Larry Solan

    Professor Larry Solan was a guest on the April 1 episode of The Diane Rehm Show, discussing how technology is changing criminal linguistic evidence in modern court cases.

    The field of forensic linguistics has recently garnered national attention, thanks to the Robert Durst murder cases being brought back to life via HBO’s The Jinx.

    During the broadcast, Ms. Rehm asked Professor Solan how often linguistics come up as displays of evidence in court cases.

    “There are cases where the question becomes ‘Who wrote that ransom note?’ or ‘Did somebody write a threatening letter to somebody at a company at which both of them work?’” Solan said. “There is also a constant flow of cases in which the question is ‘Whose voice was that?’ on a recording, where the defendant does not acknowledge that voice on the recording was his or hers. The police may say it was, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. There’s also a significant field of speaker identification called forensic phonetics, and there are cases on a regular basis of disagreements about what somebody said, regardless of who that is.”  

    Listen to the full episode.