Judge and Jury, one


A trial is a method of settling disputes verbally in a court of law. In most cases, the people on each side of the dispute use a lawyer to represent their views, present evidence, and question witnesses.

Many trials are jury trials. In the other trials, the defendant is tried by a judge or a panel of judges instead of a jury.

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A. You are a judge or a member of a jury. Are the following innocent, not guilty or guilty?

B. Why did the defendants commit these “crimes”? What could or should the accused have done instead? What are the solutions to these problems?

C. If you find them guilty, what sort of sentence or punishment would you give them? Here are some examples.

a) Probation
b) Community service for three months.
c) A fine of €100.
d) 10 days in jail.
e) 6 months in minimum security prison
e) 7 years in medium security prison.
f) Life imprisonment.
g) Capital punishment


Ronald, 13, shoplifted some chocolate bars and ice-cream from a corner store.

Vandalism, Destruction of Property.
During a demonstration at an IMF gathering, Bill, Sue and Tom, three university students smashed a store window.

Business, Commercial

Graft, Corruption, Kick-Back.
Despite placing a high bid, Mr. Briggs, a civil engineer and contractor, won a government contract to pave new county roads. Two years after its completion, the roads became bumpy and full of pot-holes.

An individual broke into a bank’s computer system and removed $783,000 from many different accounts.

Copyright Infringement.
Phil, a language school owner, photocopied original textbooks from a publishing company in Britain for use by students in his classrooms.


Industrial Espionage, Spying.
Through an informant, a high-tech company had learned industrial secrets from a rival.

Labor Laws Violation.
Cecil owns a factory. He paid his workers less than the minimum wage and had them work 14 hours a day in a sweatshop. His factory is the main source of employment in the town.

Politics, Government

Violation of Freedom of the Press. Franklin, a journalist, published an article in the newspaper alleging that politicians and government officials had too much power and were overpaid. He was arrested, jailed and charged with promoting and inciting terrorism.

Adultery, Affair.
The prime minister, happily married for 25 years and with two grown children, has been caught having a secret affair with one of his secretaries. She is half his age.

A minister of finance, Mr. Fredrick, received $6 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for development programs. The money ended up in a bank in Zurich.





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