Most world-class orators understand the importance of rhythm and cadence in creating memorable argument. Most also intuit the place that repeating or turning a phrase on three separate occasions has in enhancing the symmetry of their message. It is not that saying something once or twice cannot suffice, often once is enough. However, one has a hard time escaping the magnetism of Dr. Martin Luther King’s use of the trilogy in his famed “I HAVE A DREAM” speech. I can still see the verbal imagery of all God’s little creatures uniting. Notice above how on three separate, successive occasions Burnett turns the phrase “How can you induce a mother to want to be with her child?” And notice Burnett’s variation of that trilogy theme in the following portion of his closing in that same case:

“When this case began it was in some way suggested to you that this woman was getting rich out of what she was doing, that she was charging some sort of an exorbitant fee.

You now know that to be false.

It was suggested to you that in some way because there had been advertising in a newspaper in Mexico, that that was in some way a violation of the law or behavior that was un-American.

You now know that to be false.

At the beginning of the trial it was suggested to you that these aliens were committing a crime, that is to say, that they were violating the criminal laws of the United States of America when they crossed the bridge with MICAs and filed the applications with this woman.

You now know that to be false.

It was suggested to you at the beginning of this trial that there was something wrong with a woman working in a law office, in this case for her husband, to do all the work on these cases.

We now know that that is false.”

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