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

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Unit 5 juvenile crime

A. GETTING STARTED. COMMUNICATION POINT Discuss the following:

1. At what age does a child know right from wrong? 5 years old, 10

years old? 15 years old?

2. In your opinion, why do children commit crimes? Make a list of causes.

3. When a child kills, who do you think is most responsible? The parents? Society?

B. READING

B1. Read the article and answer the question: what is the latest trend

in American criminal justice?

13-year-old gets life

Thirteen-year-old Peter Barton (not his real name) was playing with a little

girl of 6. Claiming that he was a professional wrestler, Peter punched, kicked and stamped his 6-year-old playmate to death. Her liver was damaged, her skull was fractures. Medical experts compared the injuries to a fall from the top of a house. Peter was tried in a court as an adult and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is 38. Peter is one of many children in the latest trend in criminal justice: if you are old enough to kill, you are old enough to face adult penalties. That is what a Supreme Court of California, Florida and Texas are saying and the trend is spreading fast across the United States.

What we are dealing with is a new kind of childhood criminal. They are starting younger and they know what they are doing. They wont think twice about killing, said Florida State District Attorney Adam Emmitt. The State of Florida alone registered 312 homicides committed so far this year by minors. Most of those homicides wee gun-related.

The trend has childrens rights activists in a rage. Lisa Weston, a member of one group which is trying to prevent children being tried as adults said, No one understands why Peter did what he did not even Peter. Peter Barton begins his life sentence on Monday.

C. DISCUSSION

C1. Think of the following and provide your opinion.

1. Is it really possible that a 13-year-old boy could maliciously and

intentionally kill a young girl?

2. Do you agree with the opinion that if you are old enough to kill, you are old enough to face adult penalties? Is Peters punishment fair?

3. What are the ways to prevent juvenile crime?

C2. Discuss the following situations in small groups. Decide what should happen to the people in each situation: should they go to prison an adult prison or a young offenders institution? How long for? Or should something else happen?

Situation 1

A 6-year-old boy gets so angry with his younger brother that he sits on him

until he stops breathing, shouting I hate you, I hate you. The brother dies. This 6-year-old told his parents he had had enough of his brother.

Situation 2

A 16-year-old shoots his father dead after the father has a violent confrontation with the boys mother. He got what he deserved. My mother has put up with enough abuse already, says the boy.

Situation 3

Two young larcenists in Florida, 14 and 15 years old, appeared before Judge

Larry Seidlin after stealing their twenty-fifth car in just two short years. After the boys were released, they walked out of the courthouse and realized they did not have bus fare for a ride home. Promptly, they stole number twenty-six and crashed the vehicle into a fence less than an hour later.

D. READING AND COMPREHENSION

Task D1. Read the text and complete it with a-g a. as a response to the increasingly violent crimes

b. they often emerged from prison with increased criminal knowledge

c. and it was founded on two basic principles

d. separate work farms and reform schools for convicted children

e. under certain circumstances

f. a growing number of juvenile criminals

g. and they were expected to behave accordingly

Juvenile Law in the USA: History

Before the nineteenth century, children were generally considered to

be young adults, (1) . Children over the age of seven years who were accused of crimes were prosecuted in adult court. If convicted, they could be confined in an adult prison. By the nineteenth century, most states had created (2) ., but some states still sent children to adult prisons. Juveniles were not always rehabilitated in prison. After interacting with adult criminals, (3) . and an increased resolve to commit crimes.

In the late nineteenth century, progressive social discourse caused a shift in the general. In 1899 the world's first juvenile court opened in Chicago, (4) ... First, juveniles lacked the maturity to take responsibility for their actions the way adults could. Second, because their character was not yet fully developed, they could be rehabilitated more successfully than adult criminals.

In recent years, however, (5) .. are being tried as adults much the way they might have been before the advent of juvenile courts. In part this stems from public outrage against children who, in increasing numbers, are committing violent crimes. Interestingly, the overall rate of juvenile crime has been decreasing since 1995. Since the early 1990s many

states have adopted a "get tough" approach to juvenile justice (6) .. committed by children. As of 2003, many states had adopted legislation that permits more children to be tried as adults. Now all states have a provision allowing prosecutors to try juveniles as young as 14 as adults (7) .. In some states, such as Indiana, South Dakota, and Vermont, children as young as 10 can be tried as adults.

Task D2. Read the text again and match the underlined words to their meanings

1) a change in the way people think about something

2) a feeling of great anger and shock

3) strong determination to succeed in doing something

4) serious conversation or discussion between people -

5) the quality of behaving in a sensible way like an adult

6) very strict or firm

7) the time when something first begins to be widely used

8) to develop as a result of something else

9) to keep someone in a place that they cannot leave

10) to act, or have some effect, on each other

Task D3. Divide into pairs. You both have identical texts marked A and B and both of you have some bits of information missing. Prepare the questions to be asked in writing. Student A works with text A, and student B with text B. Ask each other questions and get the texts restored in full.

TEXT A. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The FBI, a branch of the Department of Justice, is the best known of the

federal police authorities. It was founded in (1)

by the attorney general

of the United States, Charles Bonaparte, as the Bureau of Investigation. The

bureau was authorized by an executive order of President (2)

, not by

an act of Congress. Its early (3)

were investigating antitrust cases,

crimes committed on government property, and crimes committed by government officials.

In 1924 J. Edgar Hoover was named director of the bureau by Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone. Hoover thoroughly reorganized the bureau and made it into the most efficient police and investigative force in the world. He

established (4)

in 1924 to keep extensive fingerprint records. The

FBI crime laboratory was started in 1932 to provide scientific crimedetection facilities. The laboratory is also used by state and local lawenforcement agencies. Its technicians are experts in chemistry, physics, and

engineering, and they perform examinations concerning ballistics and firearms identification, serology, metallurgy, spectrography, explosives, hair and fiber analysis, and handwriting identification.

In 1935 the FBI Academy was opened at (5)

law-enforcement officials. It is used for (6)

, as a school for training as well as for giving short

courses to state and local police personnel. The National Crime Information Center, established in 1967, is probably the most comprehensive computerized information bank on crime and criminals in the world. It provides assistance to police agencies in all the states and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

TEXT B. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The FBI, a branch of the Department of Justice, is the best known of the

federal police authorities. It was founded in 1908 by (1)

of the United

States, Charles Bonaparte, as the Bureau of Investigation. The bureau was authorized by an executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt, not by an act of Congress. Its early duties were investigating antitrust cases, crimes committed on government property, and crimes committed by government officials.

In 1924 (2)

was named director of the bureau by Attorney General

Harlan Fiske Stone. Hoover thoroughly (3)

and made it into the most

efficient police and investigative force in the world. He established the FBI

Identification Division in 1924 to (4)

. The FBI crime laboratory was

started (5)

to provide scientific crime-detection facilities. The

laboratory is also used by state and local law-enforcement agencies. Its technicians are experts in chemistry, physics, and engineering, and they perform examinations concerning ballistics and firearms identification, serology, metallurgy, spectrography, explosives, hair and fiber analysis, and handwriting identification.

In 1935 (6)

was opened at Quantico, Va., as a school for training

law-enforcement officials. It is used for training new agents as well as for giving short courses to state and local police personnel. The National Crime Information Center, established in 1967, is probably the most comprehensive computerized information bank on crime and criminals in the world. It provides assistance to police agencies in all the states and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

E. TRANSLATION

E1. Translate the following paragraph in writing.

Destitution, poor living conditions, inadequate education, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment and lack of leisure-time activities are factors that marginalize young people, which makes some of them vulnerable to exploitation as well as to involvement in criminal and other deviant behaviour. If preventive measures address the very causes of criminality, rehabilitation programmes and services should be made available to those who already have a criminal history. In general, youth delinquency begins with petty offences such as robbery or violent behaviour, which can be easily traced by and corrected through institutions and community and family environments. Indeed law enforcement should be a part of rehabilitation measures. Finally, the human rights of young people who are imprisoned should be protected and principles of penal majority according to penal laws should be given great attention.

(From the UN World Programme of Action for Youth on Juvenile

Delinquency)


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