Let’s examine the lies from potential juror E7 in the Zimmerman murder trial. As reported by ABC news, potential juror E7 denied having extensive knowledge of the case. The attorneys found evidence in E7’s post “I CAN tell you THIS. ‘Justice’…IS Coming” on the “Coffee Party Progressives” Facebook page.
Even if the attorneys didn’t have the Facebook evidence, there were ‘hot spots” in E7’s responses to their questions, which suggested there’s more to his story. Let’s break down E7’s statements.
When asked about his knowledge of the case, E7 responded “Hmm. To be strictly honest, it’s hard to remember.” Time fillers such as ‘hmm, uh, er’ give someone a few extra seconds to think about what they want to say. “To be strictly honest” is a phrase used to convince the listener of the speaker’s honesty. If the speaker is telling the truth then this phrase isn’t necessary. By using this phrase it suggests that anything else the speaker has said hasn’t been the truth.
When asked if he posted anything about the case on Facebook, E7 responded, “No. Best to avoid, at times.” When we analyze statements we can’t assume what someone means. To accurately interpret people’s statements, we have to analyze exactly what they say. E7 didn’t give a complete answer. We don’t know what E7 is referring to when he said “Best to avoid.” What’s best to avoid? Facebook? The case? Something else? Also, the phrase “at times” is a time qualifier, which suggests that at other times it’s OK not to avoid. Again, we don’t know to what E7 is referring. Nor was E7 specific about when it’s OK or not OK to avoid.
The lesson is that even without evidence, you can get a sense of the lies told by analyzing what is said and what isn’t said.