Criminal Defence and Procedure: Comparative Ethnographies in by Thomas Scheffer;Kati Hannken-Illjes;Alexander Kozin

By Thomas Scheffer;Kati Hannken-Illjes;Alexander Kozin

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Additional info for Criminal Defence and Procedure: Comparative Ethnographies in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States

Sample text

Narrative explains by clarifying the significance of events that have occurred on the basis of the outcome that has followed. It always includes a complex of events expressed as a whole that includes points of transitions, lines of development, emergent and ongoing crises. Accessing the field without losing the sense of access, that is, reflecting on it, grasping the transition as an ongoing achievement, and telling about it are necessary conditions for our ethnographic and Comparative production of meaning.

He gave me permission to take notes: “No problem, but not up there . . ” Gaining a special status, taking a specific position Instead he suggested I sit on the “press bench”, which he considered to be a perfect position for a researcher like me. I sat on the right hand side of the recorder,6 opposite the witness stand and with the jury box right behind me. This placement became a standard solution for my extra role: here I could make notes without confusing the court’s spatial division of activities.

Then there were others who carried files, delivered messages, and distributed copies. From down here, I could see how court staff and parties were constantly in motion. With time, the staff got used to me. 8 A failed attempt to change position New boundaries surfaced when I asked to move to a different place in the courtroom. My motivation was simple: I could not see the jury from the press bench, which seemed unfortunate with regard to my ‘research field’ (witnessing in criminal courts) at the time.

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