A transitivity-based exploration of a wrongful conviction for arson and murder
The case of Kristine Bunch
Well-known cases of wrongful convictions (e.g. Central Park Five, Steven Avery, Amanda Knox), although merely the tip of the iceberg, serve to highlight flaws inherent in justice systems worldwide (cf. Garrett 2011). Many innocent people are having their freedom taken away without reason. One such lesser-known, though very significant, case is that of Kristine Bunch, who was wrongfully convicted of arson and murdering her son, resulting in her wrongful imprisonment for 17 years. To examine how Kristine represents her miscarriage of justice discursively, I examine transitivity patterns (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014) in a semi-structured interview with her and, in doing so, aim to create awareness of some probable key language processes in wrongful convictions more generally.
- 2.Theoretical background
- 3.1Background to the case of Kristine Bunch
- 4.Results and discussion
- 4.1What do the transitivity patterns in Kristine’s discourse reveal about how she represents herself?
- 4.2Which discursive roles does Kristine assign to others who, in one way or another, were involved in or accountable for her wrongful conviction?