Duncan and Tocci publish a paper on the use of silence in legal history.
Examining the legal presumption of innocence and the use of silence in legal proceedings, Professor Dwight Duncan published an article with UMass Law alumnus Daniel Tocci on St. Thomas More’s early writings. The article was published in Moreana, a leading research journal dedicated to the life of More and humanist forms of thought through interdisciplinary studies. In their article “The presumption of innocence in the early writings of St. Thomas More,” Duncan and Tocci make his argument on the presumption of innocence based on silence, even though the defensive strategy didn’t avail him at his trial. But his silence would help pave the way for our constitutional right to remain silent and the U.S. constitutional requirement of two witnesses and an overt act to prove treason.
Professor Duncan teaches Constitutional Law and Religion and the Law, and has written articles on legal, moral, and religious issues. He has argued several cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court and has written briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court. UMass Law alumnus Daniel Tocci graduated as valedictorian in 2020 and is now a practicing lawyer in the fields of injury law, real estate conveyancing, estate planning, and employment discrimination.