: English for Law Students. 2 year. Part 2 - ( ..)


: 1775

Unit 6 history of punishment. types of punishment


A1. Memorize the new words and expressions.

Key vocabulary humiliation (n) , drown (v) ,

petty (adj) ,

pillory (n)

jeer (v) , ,

pelt (v) ,

felon (n) ( )

strangle (v) ,

quarter (v)

disembowel (v)

minor crime ,

probation (n)

probation officer ,

parole (n, v) - ,

inmate (n) , , ,

A2. Read the text.

From the history of punishment

For the most history punishment has been both painful and public in

order to act as deterrent to others. Physical punishments and public humiliations were social events and carried out in most accessible parts of towns, often on market days when the greater part of the population were present. Justice had to be seen to be done.

ancient Rome on people found guilty of murdering their fathers. Their punishment was to be put in a sack with a rooster, a viper, and a dog, then drowned along with the three animals. In ancient Greece the custom of allowing a condemned man to end his own life by poison was extended only to full citizens. The philosopher Socrates died in this way. Condemned slaves were beaten to death instead. Stoning was the ancient method of punishment for adultery among other crimes.

In Turkey if a butcher was found guilty of selling bad meat, he was tied to a post with a piece of stinking meat fixed under his nose, or a baker having sold short weight bread could be nailed to his door by his ear.

One of the most common punishment for petty offences was the pillory, which stood in the main square of towns. The offender was locked by hands and head into the device and made to stand sometimes for days, while crowds jeered and pelted the offender with rotten vegetables or worse.

In medieval Europe some methods of execution were deliberately drawn out

to inflict maximum suffering. Felons were tied to a heavy wheel and rolled around the streets until they wee crushed to death. Others were strangled, very slowly. One of the most terrible punishments was hanging and quartering. It remained a legal method of punishment in Britain until 1814. Beheading was normally reserved for those of high rank.

The punishments of days past were much more cruel than would be allowed today. Private executions have replaced the public hangings and disembowelments. People are no longer executed for minorcrimes like theft, and axes are no longer used to administer punishments. Besides, different methods of social control have been developed to be applied to offenders. For example, probation, which is a sentence ordered by a judge, usually instead of, but sometimes in addition to, serving time in jail, allows the convicted person to live in the community for a specified period of time, sometimes under the supervision of a probationofficer, depending on the circumstances and the seriousness of the crime. Parole is the conditional release of a prison inmate after serving part (if not all) of his or her sentence, allowing the inmate to live in the community under supervision of the parole period.

A3. Answer the questions:

1. Why justice throughout history had to be seen to be done?

2. Give examples of punishment in ancient Rome and Greece.

3. Describe a common punishment, such as pillory.

4. Describe todays forms of punishment, such as probation and parole.

A4. Do you know that

about by the publication of a politically satirical pamphlet. Famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, Defoe created more than 500 books, pamphlets, and journals on topics including politics, crime, religion, marriage, and psychology. However, after Defoe's publication of a pamphlet that ruthlessly satirized the High Church Tories, he was arrested and placed in a pillory. While awaiting his punishment, he wrote the spirited "Hymn to the Pillory." The public sympathized with Defoe and threw flowers, instead of the customary rocks, at him while he stood in the pillory.


B1. Discuss the follwing:

1. Discuss whether physical punishment is acceptable or not. If it is

acceptable, in what circumstances?

2. People invented a lot of cruel methods of punishment in the course of time.

Does it prove that people are cruel by nature?

3. Do you believe that public humiliation/ execution would deter crime?


C1. Translate the following paragraphs from the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Note the types of punishment applied in Russia and give the Russian equivalents to them. Add the new terms to your list of key terms relating to punishment.


Article 43. The concept and the purposes of punishment

1. Punishment is a measure of state compulsion assigned by a court's

judgement. Punishment shall be applied to a person who has been found guilty of the commission of a crime. It consists of the depreciation or restriction of the rights and freedoms of this person, as provided for by this Code.

2. Punishment shall be applied for the purpose of restoring social justice, and also for the purpose of reforming a convicted person and of preventing the commission of further crimes.

Article 44. Penalties

The following penalties may be applied:

a) fines;

b) deprivation of the right to hold specified offices or to engage in specified activities;

c) deprivation of a special and military rank or honorary title, class rank and of government decorations;

d) compulsory works;

e) corrective labour;

f) restriction in military service;

g) confiscation of property;

h) restricted liberty;

i) arrest;

j) service in a disciplinary military unit;

k) deprivation of liberty for a definite period;

l) deprivation of liberty for life;

m) capital punishment.


D1. Find the words/expressions corresponding to the definitions below the box. Use the dictionary if necessary.

Fine, imprisonment, life sentence, capital punishment, suspension, stoning, probation, community service; parole, pardon, demotion, confiscation,

hanging, incarceration, pillory, drowning, flogging, quartering, loss of civic rights

a) to officially take private property away from someone, usually as a punishment

b) work that is not paid that someone does to help other people, sometimes as punishment for a crime

c) the act of killing someone by putting a rope around their neck and dropping them, used as a punishment

d) putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment (2 words)

e) an official order allowing someone who has been found guilty of a crime to go free without being punished

f) A temporary debarment, as from school or a privilege, especially as a punishment.

g) act of lowering in rank or position

h) the punishment of sending someone to prison for the rest of their life or for a very long time

i) permission for someone to leave prison, on the condition that they promise to behave well

D2. ACTIVATE YOUR LANGUAGE. Study the meaning of the following synonyms.

a) prison: a large building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime

put smb in prison/ send smb to prison

release smb from prison/ let smb out of prison prison sentence

prison officer/warder

serve time in prison/ serve a sentence do time (informal, =be in prison)

b) jail: a prison, or a similar smaller building where prisoners who are waiting for a trial are kept

go to jail

be/ get thrown to jail

c) penitentiary (AmE): a large prison for people who are guilty of serious crimes

d) cell: a small room in a prison or police station, where someone is kept as a punishment

e) detention centre: a place where young people who have done something illegal are kept, because they are too young to go to prison

a juvenile detention centre

D3. Write a word which best fits each space.

1) I'm sure Robert Low never committed the crime the police accused

him .

2) I wonder what made Anna's brother choose a life

3) He hasn't been tried yet but I'm sure he'll be sent

crime. prison.

4) They'll probably put him

5) "What offence have I

prison for a long time.

?" the stranger asked.

6) People often support the death penalty because they say it deterrent.

as a

7) He was an incurable thief and even stole

8) The two men took out a gun and

9) The guilty man was sent to prison

his best friend. all my money.

ten years.

10) He had been found guilty

shooting a policeman.

11) He

an eighteen-month sentence for theft.


E1. Scan the text and be ready to discuss it.

Does Imprisonment Reduce Crime?

Historically the use of punishment is much older than the use of

imprisonment, or incarceration. Imprisonment is, of course, a type of punishment because an individual is removed from society and confined in an institution with other criminals. Imprisonment, however, is a milder punishment than many other forms used for centuries. Most prisons now provide a wide array of recreational opportunities, including sports and entertainment. Prisoners may organize their own activities. Prisons generally have libraries, and radios and televisions are available.

Prison sentences are usually indeterminate. A fixed time is stated, but the felon may be released early for good behavior. Often there is a specific time at which the prisoner is eligible for parole. Because of overcrowding it is quite common for prisoners to be released well ahead of the end of their sentences. But does the threat of imprisonment deter potential criminals? Do prisons rehabilitate criminals?

The National Criminal Justice Commission argues that the prison system wastes public resources, converts nonviolent offenders into violent criminals, and disproportionately punishes some racial groups. Criminals who are placed in cages do not feel remorse for the crimes they have committed. Sadly, most criminals leave prison more dangerous to society than when they entered.

The Council on Crime in America counters that prisons deter criminals, enable them to repay their debt to society, keep violent offenders off the streets, and rehabilitate those who are eventually released.

E2. Read the information below and discuss the issue. Many argue that

- too many people are sent to prison

- prison does very little to reform the person

- many will reoffend within 2 years of release

- it reinforces criminal tendencies

- many families and marriages fail to survive

- many find it difficult to gain employment once they are released

- each prisoner costs lots of money

Others say that

- if offenders lose their freedom they cannot continue offending

- other forms of protection cannot offer the same amount of protection for society

- prisoners are given education and taught new skills while being imprisoned

- the lack of freedom teaches people a lesson

1. Why is imprisonment viewed as a milder form of punishment?

2. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?

3. If you were a prisoner, would you have been able to endure the experience?

4. Can you think of anything better than imprisonment?


Prisoners have a lot of time to think. What do you suppose they think about?

What´s a prison like from the inside? Do you suppose people feel guilty of their past misdeeds? How can a prisoner change his/her mind and become a normal citizen once the sentence has been fulfilled?

Write a page of the diary of a man sentenced to life imprisonment.


G1. Find some information on the following matters and present it to your groupmates.

 Unusual methods of punishment in different countries nowadays.

 Prisoner rights and reform efforts.

 Prison facts and statistics around the world.

 People who were wrongly executed

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