1. Can you think of a famous person who has been in the dock recently? Why? What is the public opinion? Do you think public opinion can influence the jury's or the judge's decision when they return a verdict? Do you think the media plays a crucial role?
2. Are there any effective measures to prevent identity theft? If so, what?
3. What type of sentence should be given to petty offenders?
4. Would you be in favour of a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving?
5. Should doctors who assist people to commit suicide be prosecuted? Why or why not?
1. Do you think that the recession has made many people turn to crime?
2. What examples of political scandals can you describe? What reactions do most people have to such scandals?
3. Is internet crime becoming more pervasive? Do you know any scams?
1. There have been incidents of people going on the rampage recently? What do you think has triggered it?
2. The topic of intellectual property has been very controversial recently? Where do you stand on this issue? Have you ever downloaded anything from the internet illegally?
3. Do you think capital punishment is a solution to the problem of crime?
vandalism: the crime of destroying or damaging something, especially public property, deliberately and for no good reason. E.g. an act of vandalism.
dustbin: (North American English garbage can, trash can) a large container with a lid, used for putting rubbish/garbage in, usually kept outside the house.
shoplifting: the crime of stealing goods from a shop by deliberately leaving without paying for them.
shoplifter: E.g. Shoplifters will be prosecuted.
bribery: /ˈbraɪbəri/ the giving or taking of bribes. E.g. She was arrested on bribery charges. Allegations of bribery and corruption.
corporate crime: corporate crime refers to crimes committed either by a corporation (i.e., a business entity having a separate legal personality from the natural persons that manage its activities), or by individuals acting on behalf of a corporation or other business entity.
Corporate crime overlaps with white-collar crime, because the majority of individuals who may act as or represent the interests of the corporation are white-collar professionals.
White-collar crime refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. Within criminology, it was first defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." Typical white-collar crimes include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.
Corporate crime also overlaps with state-corporate crime because, in many contexts, the opportunity to commit crime emerges from the relationship between the corporation and the state.
The concept of state-corporate crime refers to crimes that result from the relationship between the policies of the state and the policies and practices of commercial corporations.
dock: the part of a court where the person who has been accused of a crime stands or sits during a trial. E.g. He's been in the dock (= on trial for a crime) several times already.
return a verdict to give a decision about something in court. E.g. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.
inquest: an official investigation to find out the cause of somebody's death, especially when it has not happened naturally. E.g. An inquest was held to discover the cause of death.
Identity theft is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, usually as a method to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another's personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
petty: (of a crime) of lesser importance. E.g. petty theft.
A misdemeanor (also spelled misdemeanour) is any "lesser" criminal act in some common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as minor, petty or summary offences) and regulatory offences. Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines.
felony: the act of committing a serious crime such as murder or rape; a crime of this type. E.g. a charge of felony.
prosecute: to officially charge somebody with a crime in court. E.g. The company was prosecuted for breaching the Health and Safety Act. Trespassers will be prosecuted (= a notice telling people to keep out of a particular area). The police decided not to prosecute.
breach something to not keep to an agreement or not keep a promise. Break. E.g. The government is accused of breaching the terms of the treaty.
euthanasia /ˌjuːθəˈneɪziə/ the practice (illegal in most countries) of killing without pain a person who is suffering from a disease that cannot be cured. Syn. mercy killing. E.g. They argued in favour of legalizing voluntary euthanasia (= people being able to ask for euthanasia themselves).
turn to something to start to do or to use something in an attempt to help yourself when you are having difficulty dealing with a situation. E.g. turn to crime/ drink/ drugs: He turned to drugs after his wife left him.
pervasive: /pəˈveɪsɪv/ existing in all parts of a place or thing; spreading gradually to affect all parts of a place or thing. E.g. a pervasive smell of damp. Her influence is all-pervasive (= it affects everyone and everything). A sense of social change is pervasive in her novels.
scam: a clever and dishonest plan for making money. E.g. an insurance scam.
phishing: the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers, etc. over the Internet or by email, and then using these to steal money from them.
rampage: a sudden period of wild and violent behaviour, often causing damage and destruction. E.g. Gangs of youths went on the rampage in the city yesterday. A state of emergency was declared following overnight rampages by student demonstrators.
trigger something (off) to make something happen suddenly. E.g. Nuts can trigger off a violent allergic reaction.
capital punishment: punishment by death.