On Appeal: Sacco And Vanzetti

Your task: Create an opening statement that persuasively argues for your client’s guilt or innocence (your choice). Use information from the accompanying documents in OneNote to create the introduction to an argument that properly puts this trial within its 1920s context (in other words, your case should include information about the general society and how it might factor into the case.) 

Some general info about opening statements:

– They are intended to be directed toward a judge or jury. As such, they use personal pronouns like “You”, “he”, “we”, etc.

– They are intended to be very persuasive.

– They are very similar to an introductory paragraph in an essay. They contain background information, as well as an overall statement of position (like a thesis.)

– They are more narrative than introductory paragraphs should be. They tell the story (that is, your version of the story)

– They reference the evidence (from background packet, textbook, notes) that will support your position.

Watch this clip at home to get a good sense of how a great one would sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05uaOrBdtbE

Outlining your argument –

What general contextual information helps support your position?

1.

2.

3.

What specific facts about the case support your position?

1.

2.

3.

What specific evidence from the first trial helps to support your position?

1.

2.

3.

YOUR OPENING STATEMENT, WHEN READ, SHOULD LAST APPROXIMATELY 1 ½ – 2 MINUTES.

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