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Another unsuccessful criminal

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  1. The Criminal Justice System in the USA
  2. XXII.Read the following stories. Identify the crimes committed. Name the criminal liability established by the Criminal Code of Ukraine for these types of crimes.


It has (1) ___ said that ignorance is no defense in the eyes of law, but some criminals (2) ____ to be a lot more ignorant (3) ___ others. Take the case (4) ____ the convict who broke (5) ____ of prison of Washington, D.C., USA. A few days later, (6) ___ the massive police hunt for him, he decided to accompany his girlfriend to her trial (7) ____ robbery. He sat in the courtroom (8) ____the morning listening to the proceedings, and then at lunchtime (9)_____ out to get a sandwich. (10) ____ he was out, his girlfriend needed to speak to him, and so (11) ____ him paged over the court loudspeaker system.. Police officers in the building recognized his name and immediately arrested him (12) ____ his return to the court – in a car he had just stolen. [22]


Read the text below and decide which answer (A, B, C, or D) best fits each gap.

Guilty or Not Guilty

In many legal (1) ____ around the world, the defendant is considered to be innocent until proven guilty. This means in effect it’s not (2) ___ to the defendant’s lawyers to prove that the defendant did not commit the crime that he or she is (3) ____ of. Rather, it is the responsibility of the (4) ______ to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did (5) ___ the law.

But what does the phrase ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ mean in practice? It means that, although there may not be absolute (6) ____, such as video, that the defendant committed the crime, the judge or (7) ____ , after having examined all the (8) ____, are certain that the person is guilty. If they are not certain, or, in (9) ____ words, if they believe there is a reasonable doubt, they must find the defendant ‘not guilty’. In British (10) ____, defendants are never (11) ___ innocent. The only possible (12) ____ are ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.


1 A structures B systems C constructions D arrangements

2 A about B up C over D round

3 A accused B blamed C charged D arrested

4 A persecution B prescription C prosecution D persuasion

5 A commit B abandon C break D cheat

6 A observation B sign C proof D demonstration

7 A audience B jury C team D collective

8 A warnings B hints C confirmation D evidence

9 A other B more C differing D these

10 A exhibitions B courts C councils D institutions

11 A mentioned B declared C spoken D stated

12 A verdicts B conclusions C decisions D effects[23]


14. Study the authentic cases given below. Discuss each in pairs and decide the following:

1. Was justice done?

2. If you were the judge, what other facts and circumstances would you like to know?

3. If you were a judge, would you give a different sentence?

4. Would you choose a lighter sentence or a more severe one?

5. How would you have felt if you had been the victim of the crime?

6. How would you have felt if you had been the defendant?


In 1952 two youths in Mitcham, London, decided to rob a shop. 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 and 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. Bentley 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 pounds.



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 pounds and had to pay 200 pounds towards the cost of the case. A few days later she killed herself.[24]


15. People say that children today are growing up more quickly. The law sometimes makes this possible. Look at the information below. How these laws are different in Russia?

Age 13 - they may be employed part-time.

Age 14 - they are allowed in bars but not drink alcohol.

Age 15 - they are legally considered ‘young people’ but not children.

Age 16 - school leaving age. They can leave home, drive a moped, marry with parents’ permission (not needed in Scotland), buy beer with a meal.

Age 17 - they can drive a car or motorbike.

Age 18 - they can vote, get married without parents’ consent, own property, get tattooed, drink in pubs.


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