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Criminal Justice and the Cretan Liar: Unmasking Strategies of Dissimulation and Deception

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 16 Issue: 1 Dated: (1988) Pages: 61-72
R J Kelly; E Sagarin
Date Published
12 pages
'All Cretans are liars,' a statement attributed to a Cretan, is often cited as one of the classic paradoxes.
A linguistic analysis and literary allusions amply demonstrate that there is no paradox at all, and this is because liars do sometimes, if not quite often, tell the truth. This is amply recognized in American and other criminal justice systems. When a witness has lied or tells a falsehood on the stand, his credibility is impeached, but the jury has a choice of disbelieving his testimony in toto or only in those respects in which he is believed to be committing perjury. (Author abstract)


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