Otázka: Crime and Punishment
- Say something about the topic crime and punishment in general
- Reasons for committing crime
- Types of crimes
- Prevention and protection
- Films, books which are related to the crime
There are many reasons, why people commit crime. Some of them have social problems or they can be unemployed. They have problems with money, they are jealous or they might be mentally illness. Some of them commit a crime because of revenge. Crime will always be in all societies and the only thing left is that we must protect us and our children.
Crime is an action, which is against the law. We have many types of crime. Crimes and their punishments are divided according to their importance. We have minor crimes and serious crime. A minor crime is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony (těžký zločin). For example: traffic offences… breach of municipal regulations, public nuisance among others.
When someone commits a serious crime like murder, rape, burglary, arson,… the police start investigate it. They search for clues like fingerprints, blood stains, hairs and witnesses. They are questioning suspects and when they have enough evidence, they arrest him. Then he goes to the court and stand trial. The trial takes place in a courtroom and a person who is on trial is called defendant.
The lawyers are known as the defense. The defense calls witnesses to give evidence. The prosecution (prosekjúšn) tries to prove that the defendant is guilty. They call witnesses who give evidence against him. The jury listens to all the evidence and decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. They then give their verdict. If the defendant is found guilty the judge passes sentence, this is especially about a period of time in prison. The highest punishment is death penalty, which is not allowed in Czech Republic. Then we have, life sentence, probation, which means, that the person doesn´t go to the jail, but he can´t do something even little against the law.
Types of crimes
Crimes may be classified in various ways:
Indictable offences/minor offences:
- drivers offences – illegal parking, speeding, driving against the red
- shoplifting – stealing things from opened shops
- tiny thefts from pockets – purses, mobile phones, keys, papers
Crime against property:
- arson – someone intentional light a fire on somebody´s car, house, office
- burglary – someone break into flat, office or closed shop and steal st.
- hooliganism – fans, drunkards or demonstrationists pass a street, wreck cars, break windows, light a fire, make noise, demolish communal property
- robbery – stealing money from shops, banks, post offices, petrol stations
Crime against people:
- assault – attacking someone and hurt him
- rape – special type of assault – violent sex
- blackmail – call for money somebody for example because of secret
- information about him, which he doesn´t want to make public
- kidnapping – taking someone prisoners and demand money for his release
- mugging – attacking someone and stealing from him car in the street
- manslaughter – killing someone unintentionally
- murder – intentional kill, often planned
- imposture –borrow money from someone and not to return it, sale false things
- smuggling – importing or exporting things secretly – goods, subject to duty
- forgery – making false documents, money, signature, stamps
White-collar crime- originally included only criminal acts committed by businesspeople while earning their living. The term referred to such crimes as stock market swindles and other kinds of fraud. Today the term covers such acts as cheating in tax payments, which may or may not be done in connection with one’s business. It may apply to petty thefts by employees as well as to large-scale stock market swindles.
Political crime– includes acts of terrorism against innocent people and assassinations of leading political figures. Unlike many criminals who seek money or personal gain through criminal activities, most terrorists and assassins commit crimes to show support for a political, social or religious cause. Since 1970s political crimes such as plane hijacking, assassination, bombing and taking of hostages have become more frequent. As a result, governments all over the world have taken steps to protect their countries against terrorists. For example, security at airports, embassies and other potential targets has been increased and specially trained law enforcement or military units have been formed to fight terrorism.
Organized crime- are large-scale illegal activities conducted by organized groups of criminals. Such groups are often called syndicates, or the underworld. Organized crime often specializes in providing illegal goods and services. Its activities include gambling, prostitution, the illegal sale of drugs and loansharking (lending money at extremely high rates of interest). Many of these activities are often called victimless crimes because both the buyer and the seller take part in them willingly.
Cyberbullying or cyber-harassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyber-harassment are also known as online bullying. It has become really common, especially among teenagers, as the digital sphere has expanded and technology has advanced. Cyberbullying is when someone, typically a teenager, bullies or harasses others on the internet, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behaviour can include posting rumours, threats, sexual remarks, a victims‘ personal information, or pejorative labels. Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behaviour and an intent to harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of negative emotional responses including being scared, frustrated, angry, or depressed.
Common law divides indictable offences intro three categories- treasons, felonies, misdemeanours
- Treasons (vlastizrada) – are crimes that endanger the security of the country. Examples of treason are spying for the country’s enemies in time of war or attempting to assassinate the sovereign. Treason is generally punishable by extremely long terms of imprisonment.
- Felonies (zločin)- are crimes such as murder or robbery, that may be punishable by death in countries where the death penalty/death sentence is in use or imprisonment in others, and by forfeiture (confiscation) of the criminal’s property.
- Misdemeanours (přestupek)- are indictable crimes other than treasons and felonies and do not carry the death penalty. Examples of misdemeanours are perjury and obtaining money by false pretences.
The extent of crime
Crime is one of society’s oldest problems. Almost every generation has felt threatened by what it perceived as increasing crime and violence. However, no country has developed completely reliable methods for measuring the scale of trends in crime yet.
Are some parts of this city considered more dangerous than others? Which parts?
- Are there any places you are afraid to visit because of the high crime rate? If so, where?
- Are there problems with drugs where you live?
- Are you apprehensive about walking outside after dark?
- Do you always lock your house? How about your car?
- Do you believe that public executions would deter crime? If so, how?
- Do you drink and drive?
- Do you know anyone who has been mugged?
- Do you know someone who has been a victim of a violent crime?
- Do you think abortion is a crime?
- Do you think gun control is a good idea? Explain.
- Do you think people who use illegal drugs should be put in jail?
- Do you think police TV dramas are realistic?
- Do you think policeman should be allowed to carry guns?
- Do you think that capital punishment is a good idea? Why or why not?
- Do you think that punishment for violent crimes should be the same for juveniles and adults? Why/why not?
- Do you think that the death penalty would prevent crime in your country? Why or why not?
- Do you think that the legalization of narcotics would decrease the crime rate?
- Do you think there are any legal drugs that should be illegal?
- Do you think there is a link between drugs and crime?
- Do you think prostitution is a crime?
- Do you think there will be more or less crime in the future?
- Do you think your country is a safe place to live? Why or why not?
- Do you walk alone at night in your home city?
- Does prison help rehabilitate criminals? Should it?
- Have you ever been the victim of a crime? How about others in your family?
- Have you ever done anything illegal? If so, what did you do?
- Have you ever had anything stolen?
- Have you ever seen a crime?
- Have you ever witnessed a crime?
- Have you ever stolen anything?
- How can you prevent things from being stolen?
- How can you avoid having things stolen from you?
- If a person steals a loaf of bread because he needs to feed his starving family, should he be punished?
- Is child abuse a problem in your country?
- Is drunk driving a crime where you live? If so, what is the punishment?
- Is it ever O.K. to break the law? If so, when?
- Is prison an effective punishment? Why or why not?
- Is there a problem with organized crime and/or gangs where you live?
- Is your hometown considered safe?
- Under what situations would you think of committing a crime?
- What are some things people can do to protect themselves from crime?
- What are some things that are legal that you personally think should be illegal?
- What crimes do you think will decrease in the future?
- What crimes do you think will increase in the future?
- What crimes have you heard about recently in the news?
- What do you think is the worst crime a person could commit? Why?
- What do you think of the death penalty?
- What is a gang?
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