The Sentence of the Court is …
If it is someone’s first offence, and the crime is a small one, even a guilty person is often unconditionally discharged1 , he or she is set free without punishment.
The next step up the ladder is a conditional discharge. This means that the guilty person is set free but if he or she commits another crime within a stated time, the first crime will be taken into account. He or she may also be put on probation, which means that regular meetings with a social worker must take place.
A very common form of punishment for minor offences is a fine, which means that the guilty person has to pay a sum of money.
Another possibility is that the convicted person is sentenced to a certain number of hours of community service.
Wherever possible, magistrates and judges try not to imprison people. This costs the state money, the country’s prisons are already overcrowded and prisons have a reputation for being ‘schools for crime’. Even people who are sent to prison do not usually serve the whole time to which they were sentenced. They get ‘remission’ of their sentence for ‘good behavior’.
There is no death penalty in Britain, except for treason. It was abolished for all other offences in 1965. Although public opinion polls often show a majority in favor of its return, a majority of MPs2 has always been against it. For murderers, there is an obligatory life sentence. However, ‘life’ does not normally mean life.
1unconditional discharge – освобождение от наказания
2MP = Member of Parliament (BrE) – член парламента
I. Find a synonym as in the example:
| 1. offence
|| a. penalty
| 2. punishment
|| b. to imprison
| 3. magistrates
|| c. crime
| 4. to send to prison
|| d. guilty person
| 5. convicted person
|| e. Justices of the Peace
II. Restore the correct order of punishment according to its severity:
|| 1. conditional discharge
| 2. …
| 3. …
| 4. …
| 5. death penalty
Reviewing What We Learned
1. What is punishment?
2. What is the purpose of state punishment?
3. What are the three basic modes of punishment?
4. How do you understand that “punishment should fit the crime”?
5. How does punishment depend on a crime?
6. What types of punishment do you know?
7. Who decides what punishment should a criminal be sentenced to?
8. When does an accused person have the right to appeal?
We use it when we are sure that something is true because of the evidence we have.
We use them when we think something is possible, but we are not sure.
We is it when we are sure that something is not true because of the evidence we have.
I. Write sentences saying what you needn’t/don’t need to do in your country.
- carry an ID card at all times
- have a work permit
- be 21 before you can marry
- be 21 before you can drive
- call a police officer sir or madam
- have a licence to own a gun
II. Make sentences using should have and shouldn’t have and the words in brackets.
1 I’m sure he was guilty (He /go/ to prison)
2 The fine was very high (It /be/ so high)
3 He didn’t have a licence (He /have/ the gun)
4 There was a lot of traffic (He /drive/ more slowly)
5 She didn’t have her ID (She /show/ it/ to the police)
6 He didn’t have a work permit (They /employ/ him)
III. Read the newspaper article and the letter in reply to it. Who do you agree with – the judge or the writer of the letter?
1. A judge ordered an 82-year-old man to pay 4,000 damages to a burglar who was trying to break into his house. Jack Lewis was asleep in his house in Maidstone Kent when he heard noises. He picked up his shotgun and went downstairs where he found Michael Phillips in the hall with a bag full of electrical equipment. Phillips claimed that because he was unarmed, he put the goods down and raised his hands when he saw the shotgun. Lewis said Phillips had turned to run out of the open front door, so he shot him. Phillips suffered minor wounds to the legs. In the trial, the judge said despite the fact that Lewis was defending his own property, the shotgun was unlicenced and in any case, it was not acceptable for people to take the law into their own hands.
2. Sir, I am writing in disbelief at the judgement passed on Jack Lewis yesterday. In my opinion, it is absolutely unfair to make him pay for his act of self-defence. In theory he has committed an offence by firing an unlicenced shotgun, and he should be prosecuted for this. But in practice the law should be more flexible. As far as I’m concerned, for a criminal to receive compensation for an injury sustained while carrying out a crime is quite outrageous.
Work in pairs and talk about what Jack Lewis didn’t need to do, should have or shouldn’t have done.
Example He shouldn’t have shot him.
He didn’t need to use his gun.
IV. Nils and Oscar are spies. They’re sitting in a car near the border between Silonia and Omagua. They’re waiting for Harry. Put in a modal verb (positive or negative), be able to, be allowed to or have to. (Sometimes more than one answer is correct).
NilsWhere’s Harry, then? I … see him.
OscarYes, we said seventeenth hours. He … be here by now.
Nils He might not … find the place. He … have crossed the border in the wrong place.
Oscar Impossible! Harry … have made a mistake. You know Harry.
Nils Well, I hope he comes soon.
Oscar It’s the most important job he’s ever done for us. He absolutely … get the information.
Nils I’ve often wondered about Harry. You don’t think he … be working for the other side?
Oscar No, I don’t. Harry is one of us.
Nils Well, I just think this job has been easy for him so far. Too easy. Perhaps the Omaguans know all about Harry. Someone … have told them about the job. They … have a man in our organization.
Oscar I don’t believe it. They’re not clever enough. But Harry is clever.
Nils But you … be sure. What if it was true?
Oscar It … be the end for us, of course. But it isn’t true.
Nils Harry takes a lot of risks. He does dangerous things. The boss lets him do what he wants. Harry shouldn’t … put other people in danger. I told the boss, but he didn’t listen. He … have listened to me.
Oscar Shut up, will you? Harry is a good man. Only Harry … do this job.
Nils It’s seventeen oh two. We’re late.
Oscar You’re right. We … go at once. We … stay here any longer.
Nils We’ve waited and he hasn’t come. We … have driven here at all.
Oscar We had to be here. Harry … have come. He … have done if he’d been able to.
Nils Just a minute. There’s someone behind that tree. Two men, I think. They … be watching us. Why else … they be here?
Oscar Right. Have your gun ready? We may … shoot our way out.
Nils OK, I’m ready.
Oscar Let’s go then. Come on!
Nils The car … start! Oh, my God! Where’s my gun? Give me my gun!
Oscar Put your hands up. Get out of the car! Lie down!
Nils It was you, Oscar! You told the Omaguans about Harry, didn’t you? You … be mad. Oh, my God!
V. Complete the text with the most suitable modals. Translate it.
To start a civil case, a pleading 1) ………… be filed with the court, called a complaint, naming the party against whom the case is brought (we 2) ……….. call him the defendant). The person or organization filing the case 3) ……….. be called the plaintiff. The complaint 4)……….. state a cause of action (there 5)………… be enough set forth that a defendant 6) ………... know what he is accused of having done). Only some civil cases 7) ……….. be verified (sworn to), and there is a court cost payable at the time of filing a civil case.
Next a summons is issued, inviting defendant to come to court. The summons 8) …………. tell the defendant how many days he 9) ………… make appearance and file an answer. If he does/not, a default judgement 10) ………… be entered against him. A defendant 11) …………. to defend without a lawyer.
Both parties have a right to jury trial but they 12) ………… to file a paper asking for a jury or they 13) ………… lose the right. There is not, generally, a right to speedy trial in civil cases.
VI. Translate the following sentences into English using modals.
1. Осуществление прав и свобод человека и гражданина не должно нарушать права и свободы других лиц.
2. К уголовной ответственности может быть привлечено лишь лицо, совершившее запрещенное законом общественно опасное деяние.
3. Согласно принципу “строгой ответственности” требуется установить лишь факт причинения вреда, но нет необходимости доказывать вину правонарушителя.
4. При условном осуждении могут быть назначены дополнительные виды наказаний.
5. Возможно, судьи высших судов назначаются лишь из числа адвокатов высшей категории – барристеров.
6. Платным магистратам и мировым судьям позволено разбирать некоторые категории гражданских споров.