1. thief a. someone who kills somebody else on purpose
2. robber b. someone who steals things from shops
3. burglar c. someone who takes a person by force and demands ransom in
4. mugger order to set them free
5. murderer d. someone who steals something from a bank, post office, shop,
6. kidnapper etc., often using threats or force
7. arsonist e. someone who uses force to take control of an aeroplane, train
8. shoplifter f. someone who takes things which do not belong to them
9. vandal g. someone who damages other people’s property on purpose
10. hijacker h. someone who attacks people in the street in order to steal
i. someone who sets fire to property on purpose
j. someone who breaks into people’s houses to steal things
Exercise 26. Match the headlines with the crimes.
1. kidnapping a. “Removers” empty three houses
2. hijacking b. Boy snatched from mum in park
3. assassination c. Pensioner attacked in town centre for ₤ 5
4. mugging d. Factory fire: no accident
5. arson e. President killed by single bullet
6. burglary f. Gunman forces pilot to land in desert
Exercise 27. Go through the list of offences and decide which are major and which are minor. Then look at the forms of punishment and decide which is appropriate for each offence. Write sentences as in the example.
E.g. Murder is a major offence. I think that someone who murders somebody should be sentenced to life imprisonment.
1. murder 7. pickpocketing
2. hijacking an airplane 8. stealing sweets
3. kidnapping 9. making noise late at night
4. littering 10. being on a bus without a ticket
5. writing graffiti on 11. violent behaviour in a football stadium
a public building 12. toxic waste pollution
6. stealing a car
1. to be sentenced to life imprisonment
2. to be sent to prison
3. to be fined a large/small amount of money
4. to be given a suspended sentence
5. to do community service
6. to be given a warning
Exercise 28. Fill in the missing word(s).
1. The arsonist had set fire to six homes before he was finally caught and s……… to fifteen years in prison.
2. “If you want me to keep my mouth shut, it’ll cost you ₤ 5,000,” he whispered. “Don’t try to b………. me!” she said.
3. Secret service agents quickly disarmed the men who had tried to a……… the country’s leader.
4. With dynamite strapped to his chest, he h………. the plane and ordered that it fly to his country.
5. The young boy tried to p…….. the old man’s p…….. but the security guard saw what he was doing.
6. The shop detective caught him s…….. and held him until the police arrived.
7. The museum was v………. by a gang of young boys who covered the walls with graffiti.
Exercise 29. Read and translate the text.
Classification of crimes
What are crimes?
It is very important to know which acts are criminal.
Offenses Against Society
The most fundamental characteristic of a crime is that it is a punishable offense against society. Consequently, when a crime occurs, society, acting through such employees as the police and prosecutors, attempts to identify, arrest, prosecute, and punish the criminal.
Elements of Crimes
Before anyone can be convicted of a crime, three elements usually must be proved at the trial. They are:
1. a duty to do or not to do a certain thing,
2. a violation of the duty, and
3. criminal intent.
Duty.The duty to do or not to do a certain thing usually is described by statutes which prohibit certain conduct. Generally only conduct that is serious – involving violence or theft of property – is classified as an offense against society and therefore criminal.
Violation of the Duty. The breach of duty must also be proved in a criminal trial. This is the specific conduct by the defendant, which violates the duty. For example, battery is always a crime. Criminal battery is often defined in statutes as «the intentional causing of corporal harm». Corporal harm means bodily harm. A breach of this duty could be established in a trial by the testimony of a witness.
Criminal Intent. The third element, criminal intent, generally means that the defendant intended to commit the act and intended to do evil.
A few crimes do not require criminal intent. These are generally less serious crimes, for which a jail sentence is very unlikely. Traffic offenses fall within this classification. You may not have intended to speed or have intended evil but you have still committed this crime.
Today, statutes of most states fix the age of criminal liability at 18, but the figure ranges from 16 to 19. Statutes often provide that minors as young as 13 or 16 may be tried and punished as adults if they are accused of serious crimes such as murder. Generally, however, what is a crime for adults is juvenile delinquency for minors.
Ignorance or mistake is generally no excuse for violating a law. A person is presumed to know what the law is. To have criminal intent, one must have sufficient mental capacity at the time one commits a crime to know the difference between right and wrong and to be capable of deciding what to do. Accordingly, insane persons are not held liable for their criminal acts. Normally neither voluntary intoxication nor drug abuse is agood defense against a criminal charge.
HOW ARE CRIMES CLASSIFIED?
Crimes may be classified in various ways. One type of classification is given below:
1. crimes against a person (murder, assault and battery, kidnapping, rape),
2. crimes against property (robbery, hijacking, embezzlement, receiving stolen property),
3. crimes against the government and the administration of justice (treason, tax evasion, bribery, counterfeiting, perjury),
4. crimes against public peace and order (rioting, carrying weapons, drunk and disorderly conduct, illegal speeding),
5. crimes against buildings (burglary, arson, criminal trespass),
6. crimes against consumers (fraudulent sale of wild cat securities), or
7.crimes against decency (bigamy, obscenity, prostitution, sexual harassment).
Crimes are classified in terms of their seriousness as felonies or misdemeanors.
A felony is a crime of a serious nature. It exists when the act:
1) is labeled so by law or
2) is punishable by death or confinement for more than one year in prison.
Murder, kidnapping, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, embezzlement, forgery, larceny (also called theft) of large sums, and perjury are examples of felonies. A person who lies when under oath commits perjury.
A misdemeanor is a crime of a less serious nature. It is usually punishable 1) by confinement in a jail for less than one year, 2)by fine, or 3) by both confinement and fine. Crimes such as drunkenness in public, driving an automobile at an illegal speed, shoplifting, and larceny of small sums are usually misdemeanors. A lesser misdemeanor is known as infraction. Parking overtime on metered parking, failing to clear snow from sidewalks, and littering are examples of infractions. Ordinarily, no jury is allowed in cases involving infractions because the punishment is no more than a fine.