Архитектура Аудит Военная наука Иностранные языки Медицина Металлургия Метрология
Образование Политология Производство Психология Стандартизация Технологии
The Punishment Should Fit the Crime
National and local newspapers regularly print accounts of legal cases, and quite often the stories they choose are ones in which the punishment does not appear to fit the crime. It is easy to read a paragraph about a criminal case and to become outraged at the sentence passed by a judge. We have to remember that the short paragraph sums up a complicated legal case which might have taken hours, days or even weeks of court time, and that the judge knew a lot more about the case than the casual newspaper reader. However, sentences and penalties vary widely from one court to another. As every football fan knows, referees make mistakes, and the referee is much more likely to be mistaken when his decision goes against one's own team.
TASK 3. Read the texts and discuss each case applying the questions below.
1. Was justice done?
2. If you had been the judge, would you have given a different sentence?
3. Would you have chosen a lighter sentence, or a more
4. How would you have felt if you had been the victim of the crime?
5. How would you have felt if you had been the defendant?
6. If you had been the judge, what other facts and circumstances would you have wanted to know?
In 1981 Marianne Bachmeir, from Lubeck, West Germany, was in court watching the trial of Klaus Grabowski, who had murdered her 7 year-old daughter. Grabowski had a history of attacking children. During the trial, Frau Bachmeir pulled a Beretta 22 pistol from her handbag and fired eight bullets, six of which hit Grabowski, killing him. The defence said she had bought the pistol with the intention of committing suicide, but when she saw Grabowski in court she drew the pistol and pulled the trigger. She was found not guilty of murder, but was given six years imprisonment for manslaughter. West German newspapers reflected the opinion of millions of Germans that she should have been freed, calling her " the avenging mother".
Bernard Lewis, a mirty-six-old man, while preparing dinner became involved in an argument with his drunken wife. In a fit of a rage Lewis, using the kitchen knife with which he had been preparing the meal, stabbed and killed his wife. He immediately called for assistance, and readily confessed when the first patrolman appeared on the scene with the ambulance attendant. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The probation department's investigation indicated that Lewis was a rigid individual who never drank, worked regularly, and had no previous criminal record. His thirty-year-old deceased wife, and mother of three children, was a " fine girl" when sober but was frequently drunk and on a number of occasions when intoxicated had left their small children unattended. After due consideration of the background of the offence and especially of the plight of the three motherless youngsters, the judge placed Lewis on probation so that he could work, support, and take care of the children. On probation Lewis adjusted well, worked regularly, appeared to be devoted to the children, and a few years later was discharged as " improved" from probation.
In 1952 two youths in Mitcham, London, decided to rob a dairy. They were Christopher Craig, aged 16, and Derek William Bentley, 19. During the robbery they were disturbed by Sydney Miles, a policeman. Craig produced a gun a killed the policeman. At that time Britain still had the death penalty for certain types of-murder, including murder during a robbery. Because Craig was under 18, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Bently who had never touched the gun, was over 18. He was hanged in 1953. The case was quoted by opponents of capital punishment, which was abolished in 1965.
In 1976 a drunk walked into a supermarket. When the manager asked him to leave, the drunk assaulted him, knocking out a tooth. A policeman who arrived and tried to stop the fight had his jaw broken. The drunk was fined £ 10.
In June 1980 Lady Isabel Barnett, a well-known TV personality was convicted of stealing a tin of tuna fish and a carton of cream, total value 87p, from a small shop. The case was given enormous publicity. She was fined £ 75 and had to pay £ 200 towards the cost of the case. A few days later she killed herself.
This is an example of a civil case rather than a criminal one. A man had taken out an insurance policy of £ 100, 000 on his life. The policy was due to expire at 3 o'clock on a certain day. The man was in serious financial difficulties, and at 2.30 on the expire day he consulted his solicitor. He then went out and called a taxi. He asked the driver to make a note of the time, 2.50. He then shot himself. Suicide used not to cancel an insurance policy automatically. (It does nowadays.) The company refused to pay the man's wife, and the courts supported them.
LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES Lady Wyatt Accused of Shop-Lifting
TASK 1. Read the list of characters involved in the case of shop-lifting. Choose one for yourself.
Lady Wyatt Mr Bell
Sir David Wilton Dr Soames Mr Green Miss Toad
The prosecutor The defence
- the accused, a rich and unbalanced woman.
- the store detective, a real nosey parker.
- an old friend of lady Wyatt, just a gentlemen.
- lady Wyatt's family doctor, a very secretive personality, -the store manager, very inexperienced.
- shop assistant, a dangerous mixture of chatterbox and scatterbrain.
TASK2. Read Lady Wyatt's written account and the store detective's report. Present them using the colour idioms.
Lady Wyatt: On Wednesday morning I went to Hall's Department Store to do some shopping and to meet a friend for lunch. In the Ladies Fashion Department I bought a belt and a bag and paid for them. As I was waiting for the lift to go up to the Rooftop Coffee Lounge, I saw a silk scarf that I liked. I tried it on and decided to buy it. I looked around for an assistant to pay but couldn't see anybody. The lift came and as I was late for my appointment, I put the scarf with my other purchases, intending to pay for it later on my way out. Unfortunately, I forgot to pay and was stopped at the door by the store detective who asked me to go to the manager's office where I was accused of having stolen the scarf. It's quite ridiculous. I simply forgot to pay.
Mr.Bell: I was on duty on the second floor when I observed Lady Wyatt trying on a scarf. She looked at herself in the mirror, looked round several times and then
put the scarf in her bag. She then went up in the lift to the top floor cafe where she met a man. I kept up my observation and when they left together, I followed them to the door. She had made no attempt to pay so I stopped her and asked her to accompany me to the manager's office. She become abusive and refused to go with me until a policeman arrived on the scene.
Colour Idioms. Match the idioms on the left with their definitions on the
a) to catch sb. red-handed
b) to see red
c) to appear out of the blue
d) in the black and white
e) in the red
1. broke, having no money
2. from nowhere, unexpectedly
3. To catch sb. during his committing a crime
4. get terribly angry
5. in a very clear way
TASK 3. Listen to Lady Wyatt being cross-examined, first by the Prosecution, and then by the Defence. Answer the questions. Prosecution's cross-examination:
1. What did she say she had intended to do?
2. Why hadn't she done it?
3. Why didn't she spend more time looking for an assistant?
4. Is she usually punctual?
5. How long had she been taking the pills?
6. Had she ever suffered from loss of memory?
7. Had she ever stolen anything?
1.How wealthy is she?
2. Does she need to work?
3. Is she a regular customer?
4. How much does she spend there a year?
5. What would she have done if she hadn't been caught?
TASK 4. Read the reports based on the evidence given by:
David Wilton's evidence (report)
David Wilton said that he was an old friend of Lady Wyatt and that he had been the Wyatt family's accountant for fourteen years. He had arranged to meet Lady Wyatt for lunch at 12 o'clock to discuss some family business. He said that he had not noticed anything unusual about Lady Wyatt's behaviour except that twice during lunch she had taken a pill. He added that he did not know what the pill was for and had not asked. He stated that he was astonished
that anyone could think that Lady Wyatt might steal as she was a very wealthy woman who could afford to buy anything she wanted.
The doctor's evidence (report)
Soames, the Wyatt family doctor, stated that he had been prescribing pills for Lady Wyatt for some time. She had been suffering from regular bouts of depression. He said that a side-effect of the pill could cause erratic or unusual behaviour though he knew of no case where moral judgement had been affected.
The store manager's evidence (report)
The store manager said that he did not know Lady Wyatt as a regular customer because he had only been in his present job for two weeks. He said that the store lost hundreds of pounds worth of goods every week which was why he had appointed a store detective in whom he had the greatest confidence. He added that it was not only the poorer members of the community who resorted to shop-lifting.
The shop assistant's evidence (report)
The shop assistant said that she had worked at HalFs for seven years and knew Lady Wyatt as a regular customer. On Wednesday morning Lady Wyatt had bought a belt and handbag and had paid by cheque. She said that Lady Wyatt had behaved quite normally. She said that she hadn't seen Lady Wyatt trying on the scarf as the scarf counter was on the opposite side of the store. She added that there had been two assistants on duty that morning and that neither of them had left the department.
TASK 5. Read through the four reports again. Role-play Prosecution, De/ence and Witness. Try to recreate the scene of presentation of evidence and cross-exam ination.
TASK 6. Work in groups You are the jury. Appoint a chairman to report back to the judge. You have to bring in the verdict of " Guilty" or " Not Guilty".
TASK I. Fill in the gaps.
1. A juror should keep an open____ all through the trial. 2. You
become a potential juror after your name is selected____ from voters
registration____.3. A crime of graver nature than a misdemeanour is a
____.4. To____sb. means to find a person not guilty in a trial. 5. Civil
cases are usually disputed between or among___, corporations or other
organizations. 6. The____of jury doesn't need to be____in civil cases.
7.The____ keeps track of all documents and exhibits in trial being the
judge's assistant. 8. The job of a juror is to listen to____ and to
decide____. 9. One who is engaged in a lawsuit is called a___. 10. Process
by which a lawyer questions a witness called to testify by the other side is
_..11. " ____" is a phrase meaning " to speak the truth". 12. A juror
should not be influenced by sympathy or____. 13. A____may sue a
____ for failure to pay rent. 14. A juror should not express his____to
other jurors before__
criminal offence is a and be
_ begin. 15. Formal accusation of having committed a
___. 16. To be a good juror you should use your
17. The third stage of a trial is____. 18. When a
has been reached the judge
the jury from the case. 19. A
member of jury panel must____promising to answer all questions truthfully.
20. To be eligible, you must: 1. be______, 2.______, 3. able to
_______, 4. and if you ever _______, you must have your
________.21. Working hours of the jury may be varied to ____
witnesses coming from out of town. 22. Compromise agreement by opposing parties, eliminating the need for the judge to resolve the controversy is called ___. 23. Trier of facts is a___or, in a non-jury trial - a___. 24. People
who don't meet certain
from jury service. 25. The
helps to keep the trial running smoothly. The jury is in his custody.
TASK 2. Fill in the gaps.
1. When hearing the____the juror must take into account the____
of a witness, i.e. his ability to____ы. 2. Lawyers____ each side are
allowed to____when they consider sth. done improper under the____of
evidence. 3. Attorne> who represents the defendant is a____.4.____ is
any statement made by a witness under
in legal proceedings. 5.
means that the lawyer doesn't have to state a____
excused. 6. The party bringing the suit is called a _
disputes what the____has said in the paper called
testimony can be either oral____, or____. 9. The fifth step of a trial is
for asking the juror to be
___. 7. The defendant
. 8. The forms of
, when the lawyers
10. The lawsuit is started by defendant's innocence is
__the case from their,
_ing a paper called a _
of view. 11. The
__unless he is proved____. 12. It is____
to judge to decide whether each____is valid or____.13. Following the
____of all the evidence, the judge____to the jurors on the laws that are to
guide them in their___on a____. 14. A____case is brought by the
state or the city against a person or persons accused of____a crime. 15. In
____cases people who have been____may sue a person or a company
they feel is responsible for____. 16. If the defendant has____not guilty,
the prosecution must prove his guilt to overcome the____. 17. If the
objection was not valid, the judge will defendant in opposition to that of a
___ it. 18. Claim presented by a
is called. 19. The
is conducted in
elected by the jury should provide that__
20.____is a request by a party to excuse a specific juror for some reason.
21. The____in trial decides the law, i.e. makes decisions on legal____.
22. Unlike challenges for cause the number of____challenges is____.
23. Most often in civil cases the party bringing the____is asking for money
____. 24. The plaintiffs____is greater in a criminal case than in a civil
case. 25. If the objection is valid, the judge will__
____way and my teacher is____, I will get a/an
it. 26. If I work in a mark!!!
Just for Fun
A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better
" You seem to be in some distress, " said the judge to the witness. " Is anything wrong? "
" Well, your Honour, " said the witness, " I swore to tell the truth and
nothing but the truth, but every time I try, some lawyer objects! "
A man had been convicted of theft on circumstantial evidence. When the case was sent for appeal, he revealed to his lawyer that he had been in prison at the time of the crime committed. " Good Heavens, man! " said the lawyer. " Why on earth didn't you reveal that fact at the trial? "
" Well, " said the man, " I thought it might prejudice the jury against me."
A man accused of stealing a watch was acquitted on insufficient evidence. Outside the courtroom he approached his lawyer and said, " What does that mean - acquitted? "
" It means, " said the lawyer, " that the court has found you innocent. You are free to go."
" Does it mean I can keep he watch? " asked the client.
First juror: " We shouldn't be here very long. One look at those two fellows convinces me that they are guilty."
Second juror: " Not so loud, you fool! That's counsel for the prosecution and counsel for defence! "
acquit (v) - to find a defendant not guilty in a criminal trial. action (n) - proceeding taken in a court of law; also case, suit, lawsuit, affidavit (n) - a written or printed declaration or statement under oath. answer (n) - a formal answer to a complaint, in which the defendant
admits or denies what is said in the complaint. bailiff (n) - a court employee who among other things maintains order in
the courtroom and is responsible for custody of the jury. burden of proof (n) - measure of proof required to prove a fact.
Obligation of a party to prove facts at issue in the trial of a case. case (n) - any proceeding, action, cause, lawsuit or controversy initiated
through the court system by filing a complaint, petition, indictment or
cause of action (n) - a legal claim. challenge for cause (n) - a request by a party that the court excuse a
specific juror on the basis that the juror is biased. chambers (n) - a judge's private office.
charge (n) - formal accusation of having committed a criminal offence. claim (n) - the assertion of a right to money or property. clerk of court (n) - an officer of the court whose principal duty is to
maintain court records and preserve evidence presented during a trial. closing argument (n) - the closing statement, by counsel, to the trier of
facts after all parties have concluded their presentation of evidence. complainant (n) - one who makes a complaint. Same as " plaintiff. complaint (n) - 1. (crim.) formal written charge that a person has
committed a criminal offence. 2.(civ.) initial document entered by the
plaintiff which states the claim against the defendant.
coiTvict (v) - to find a person guilty of a charge. convict (n) - one who has been found guilty of a crime or
misdemeanour; usually referred to convicted felons or prisoners in
- conviction. counterclaim (n) - claim presented by a defendant in opposition to, or
deduction from, the claim of the plaintiff. court reporter (n) - person who records and transcribes the verbatim
testimony and all other oral statements made during court sessions. cross-examination (n) - process by which a lawyer questions a witness
called to testify by the other side in the case. damages (n) - compensation recovered in the courts by a person who has
suffered loss, detriment, or injury to his person, property of rights,
through the unlawful act or negligence of another. defendant (n) - 1. (crim.) person charged with a crime. 2.(civ.) person or
entity against whom a civil action is brought. defence attorney (n) - attorney who represents the defendant. deposition (n) - sworn testimony taken and recorded in an authorized
place outside the courtroom according to the rules of the court. direct examination (n) - process by which a lawyer questions a witness
called to testify by his side in the case. evidence (n) - any form of proof legally presented at a trial through
witnesses, records, documents, etc. See expert evidence, exception (n) - a formal objection by one of the lawyers to something
said or done by the judge, such as refusing to allow a question to be
asked. exhibit (n) - paper, document or other physical object received by the
court as evidence during a trial or hearing. expert evidence (n) - testimony given by those qualified to speak with
authority regarding scientific, technical or professional matters. felony (n) - a crime of graver nature than a misdemeanour.
-felon (n). hearsay (n) - evidence based on what the witness'has heard someone
else say rather than what the witness has personally experienced or
observed. impeachment of a witness (n) - an attack on the credibility of a witness
by the testimony of other witnesses inadmissible (adj) - that which, under the established rules of evidence
cannot be admitted or received. indictment (n) - written accusation of a grand jury, charging that a
person or business committed a crime.
information (n) - an accusation for some criminal offence, in the nature
of an indictment, but which is presented by a competent public officer
instead of a grand jury. instruction (n) - direction given by a judge to the jury regarding the
applicable law in a given case. juror (n) - member of a jury. jury (n) - specific number of people (usually six or twelve), selected as
prescribed by law to render a decision (verdict) in a trial. See trier of
fact, leading question (n) - one which suggests to a witness the answer
desired. Prohibited on direct examination. litigant (n) - one who is engaged in a lawsuit. litigation (n) - contest in court, a lawsuit. misdemeanour (n) - criminal offences less than felonies; generally those
punishable by fine or imprisonment of less than 90 days in a local
facility. A gross misdemeanour is a criminal offence for which an
adult could be sent to jail for up to one year, pay a fine of up to
$1, 000, or both. manslaughter (n) - See Ch. V motion (n) - oral or written request made by a party to an action before,
during or after a trial upon which a court issues a ruling or order. objection (n) - statement by an attorney taking exception to testimony or
the attempted consideration as evidence.
overrule (n) - court's denial of any motion or point raised to the court. parties (n) - persons, corporations, or associations who have commenced
a law suit or who are defendants. peremptory challenge (n) - procedure which parties in an action may
use to reject prospective jurors without giving a reason. Each side is
allowed a limited number of such challenges. perjury (n) - making intentionally false statements under oath. Perjury is
a criminal offence. plaintiff (n) - the party who begins an action, the party who complains or
sues in an action and is named as such in the court's records. Also
called a petitioner. plea (n) - a defendant's official statement of " guilty" or " not guilty" to
the charge(s) made against him. pleadings (n) - formal written allegations by the parties of their
respective claims. polling the jury (n) - a practice whereby jurors are asked individually
whether they agreed, and still agree, with the verdict preponderance of evidence (n) - the general standard of proof in civil
cases. The weight of evidence presented by one side is more
convincing to the trier of facts than the evidence presented by the
opposing side. probable cause (n) - reasonable cause: having more evidence for than
against, a reasonable belief that a crime has or is being committed; the
basis for all lawful searches, seizures and arrests. prosecution (n) - 1. act of pursuing a lawsuit or criminal trial. 2. the
party that initiates a criminal case. prosecutor (n) - the public officer in each county who is a lawyer and
who represents the interests of the state in criminal trials and the
county in all legal matters involving the county in criminal cases; the
prosecutor has the responsibility of deciding who and when to
prosecute. Also known as prosecuting attorney. reasonable doubt (n) - an accused person is entitled to acquittal if, in the
minds of the jury, his guilt has not been proved beyond a " reasonable
doubt"; that state of the minds of jurors in which they cannot say they
feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge. rebuttal (n) - the introduction of contradicting or opposing evidence;
showing that what witnesses said occurred is not true; the stage of a
trial at which such evidence may be introduced. redirect examination (n) - follows cross-examination and is carried out
by the party who produced and first examined the witness. reply (n) - pleading by the plaintiff in response to the defendant's written
answer. search and seizure, unreasonable (n) - in general, an examination
without authority of law of one's premises or person for the purpose
of guilt to be used in prosecuting a crime. search warrant (n) - a written order, issued by a judge or magistrate in
the name of the state, directing a law enforcement officer to search a
specific house or other place for specific things or persons. Usually
required as a condition for a legal search and seizure. settlement (n) - 1. conclusion of a legal matter. 2. compromise
agreement by opposing parties in a civil suit before judgement is
made, eliminating the need for the judge to resolve the controversy. suit (n) - any court proceeding in which an individual seeks a decision.
See case, testimony (n) - any statement made by a witness under oath in a legal
proceeding. tort (n) - an injury or wrong committed, with or without force, to the
person or property of another, which gives rise to a claim for
damages. transcript (n) - the official record of proceedings in a trial of hearing,
which is kept by the clerk.
trial (n) - the presentation of evidence in court to a trier of facts who applies the applicable law to those facts and then decides the case.
trier of facts (n) - the jury or, in a non-jury trial, the judge.
verdict (n) - formal decision made by a trier of facts.
witness (n) - person who testifies under oath before a court or in a deposition regarding what was seen, heard or otherwise observed.
Crime and Punishment
Unit I. Crime.........................................................................................128
Unit II. Punishment...............................................................................131
Unit III. A Policeman and the Criminal World..................................135
Unit IV. The World of Crime...............................................................143
Unit V. Language Activities. Let's Do Justice.....................................151
Just for Fun...........................................................................................158
CRIME TASK 1. Read the text, consulting the glossary where necessary.
The abolition of capital punishment in England in November 1965 was welcomed by most people with humane and progressive ideas. To them it seemed a departure from feudalism, from the cruel pre-Christian spirit of revenge: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
Many of these people think differently now. Three unarmed policemen have been killed in London by bandits who shot them down in cold blood. This crime has drawn attention to the fact that since the abolition of capital punishment crime - and especially murder - has been on increase throughout Britain. Today, therefore, public opinion in Britain has changed. People who before, also in Parliament, stated that capital punishment was not a deterrent to murder - for there have always been murders in all countries with or without the law of execution - now feel that killing the assassin is the lesser of two evils. Capital punishment, they think, may not be the ideal answer, but it is better than nothing, especially when, as in England, a sentence of " lifelong" imprisonment (a life sentence, as it is called) only lasts eight or nine years.
All this is very controversial. And all the arguments for and against can be refuted in practice. The problem remains - the problem of how to prevent murders. Some murders are committed by criminals evading arrest, by insane or mentally disturbed people, by cold-blooded sadists completely devoid of all human feelings. The important thing in the prevention of murder is to eliminate as far as possible the weapons and instruments, the guns and knives, with which these crimes are committed, and futhermore to stop the dangerous influence of violence in books, films, television and other mass media, from which so many criminals derive their " inspiration".
TASK 2 Work т groups. Make a list of arguments for and against the following statements ]. Mild sentences are a sign of a civilized society.
2. Capital punishment is not a deterrent to murder.
3. Armed policemen can perform their duties better.
4. Scenes of violence in films encourage crime.
5. Legalized selling of firearms stimulates murder.
6. Legalized selling of firearms ensures security.
7. The instinct to kill is basic to human nature.
TASK 3. Read the text
Crime in Great Britain
About 90 per cent of all crimes are dealt with by Magistrates' courts. Sentences (that is, the punishments decided by the court) vary a lot but most people who are found guilty have to pay'a fine. Magistrates' courts can impose , fines of up to £ 2, 000 or prison sentences of up to six months. If the punishment is to be more severe the case must go to a Crown Court vThe most severe punishment is life imprisonment: there has been no death penalty in Britain since 1965., ^
The level of recorded crime and the number of people sent to prison both increased during the 1970s and 1980s. By the end of that period the average prison population was more than 50, 000 and new prisons had to be built as overcrowding had become a serious problem. By 1988 the cost of keeping" ^ someone in prison was over £ 250 per week, which was more than the national average wage. \>
TASK 4. Find in the text the English equivalents for the following expressions.
^ V - уровень преступности; ^ j, - средний заработок;
b - жестокое наказание; Ч - пожизненное заключение; С] - смертная казнь; V - признаны виновными; ^ - содержание кого-либо в тюрьме; ^ - преступления рассматриваются в магистратских судах;
; - накладывать штраф; \1° - приговор;
The Survey of Crimes
. Match the words from the box with the definitions below.
a) they broke the window of his car and stole the radio;
b) they sold paintings that they knew weren't genuine masterpieces;
c) they illegally carried drugs into another country;
d) they held a pistol at the pilot's head and he had to do what they said;
e) they set fire to the hotel;
f) they took some things off the shelves and left the supermarket without paying for them;
g) they took away the rich man's son and asked him for a lot of money; h) they hit the man on the head as he was walking along the street, and stole all his money and credit cards;
i) they took her purse out of her handbag as she was standing on the crowded platform waiting for the train.
TASK 6. Look at this list of " crimes ". Try and rate each crime on a scale from 1 to 10. (I is a minor misdemeanour, 10 is a very serious crime). They are in no order.
- driving in excess of the speed limit;
\ - common assault (e.g. a fight in a disco-club); I - drinking and driving;
- malicious wounding (e.g. stabbing someone in a fight);
- murdering a policeman during a robbery;
- murdering a child;
- causing death by dangerous driving;
- smoking marijuanna;
- selling drugs (such as heroin);
- stealing £ 1, 000 from a bank, by fraud;
- stealing £ 1, 000 worth of goods from someone's home;
- grievous bodily harm (almost killing someone);
- stealing £ 1, 000 from a bank, by threatening someone with a gun;
- possession of a gun without a licence;
Unit II PUNISHMENT
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