More Crime and Less Punishment Richard Moran
About the author Richard Moran • Richard Moran is a criminologist and a leading expert on the insanity defense, capital punishment, and the history of the electric chair. • The author of numerous articles and reviews, Moran has also written articles for the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and Newsweek.
The Executioner's Current • It is the story of how the electric chair developed out of an effort by one nineteenth-century electric company to discredit the other.
When Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were building the first power plants in the country, electric light was a bizarre new technology that few people understood and many people feared. Adding to the confusion were the two competitors' attempts to promote their own systems and discredit the other. When New York State began considering electrocution as a method of capital punishment, Edison recommended Westinghouse's alternating current for the unseemly task. Westinghouse, not wanting the negative stigma associated with his system, fought back, and a truly well intentioned government effort to find a more humane method of execution became a courtroom battle for commercial supremacy between two competing pioneers. Moran's account is broad, covering the electric power struggle between Edison and Westinghouse, the trial and execution of the first man to die in the electric chair, and the history of the capital punishment debate in the U.S. Edison's popularity as a cultural hero lends appeal to the entertaining drama of the power companies' competition, and the surprisingly colorful history of the electric chair makes for fascinating reading.
Alcatraz Island • Out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is a world unto itself. Isolation, one of the constants of island life for any inhabitant - soldier, guard, prisoner, Indian, bird or plant - is a recurrent theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz.
Alcatraz Island • Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison. Visitors to the island cannot only explore the remnants of the prison, but can also learn about the Indian occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications (the first U.S. fort on the coast), and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. These structures and the island's many natural features are being preserved by the National Park Service which is working to make it accessible to visitors, preserve its buildings, protect its birds and other wildlife, and interpret its history.
Warm-up • What do you now about jury system in America? • What is the guiding principle in criminal court in America? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the principle?
Jury system The Jury trial is an important component in the judicial system. The jury consists of 12 jurors, selected at random. They will, after hearing all the evidence and cross-examination, give a verdict（裁决） of guilty or innocent. Then, the judge will pass a sentence. In many jurisdictions, the majority of a jury is not sufficient to find a defendant guilty; all 12 members must agree to the person’s guilt.
Guiding principle The court must prove the accused person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the accused is held innocent until proved guilty.
Guiding principle In theory, the concept makes sure that a case is not misjudged and that an innocent person is not unjustly treated. However, in other cases, this may help criminals to escape punishment, for his lawyer can always raise a reasonable doubt concerning the evidence or the trustworthiness of the witnesses. Also, collecting evidence and having a trial or even summon a jury cost a lot of money.
Famous trail of O.J. Simpson • O.J. Simpson, famous American football player and actor, was charged with murdering his former wife and her boy friend and eventually declared innocent. • The jury spent three hours deliberating the case that had produced 150 witnesses over 133 days and had cost $15 million to try.
Expressions related to crime, law and court to prosecute sb. parole to imprison/jail sb. criminal crime rate to supervise a criminal arrest record to execute a murderer property crime
Structure of the text Introduction of the central idea: punishment does not reduce crime. • Part I (para.1-3) • Part II (para. 4-9) • Part III (para. 10) Why punishment doesn't deter crime. Conclusion: getting tough with criminals is not the answer to the crime problem.
Word study commit • perform(a crime, foolish act etc.) commit murder/suicide/an offence • entrust; hand over to commit a man to prison • make oneself responsible; undertake He has committed himself to support his brother’s children. • (often reflexive) bind oneself I won’t commit myself to that course of action.
Word study deter: discourage, hinder from • Failure did not deter him from trying again. • The university enforces severe punishment to deter cheating in exams.
Word study illustrate • explain by examples, pictures, etc. The following examples illustrate our point. • supply a book, article, lecture etc. with pictures, diagrams, etc. The book was illustrated with color photographs. This is a well-illustrated textbook. illustration n.
Word study • get tough with 对…强硬 When he started to argue, I got tough with him. • be tough on The new mayor intends to be tough on crime. • take a tough stance/stand We must take a tough stance against terrorism. • tough luck: bad luck Tough luck about your job! I hope you’ll find another one soon.
Word study • lock away (lock up) • to put something in a place or container which is fastened with a lock Take good care to lock away your jewelry before going away on holiday 2.to put someone in a prison, or a hospital for mentally ill people. After murder, he was locked away for 50 yeas.
Word study • be/go easy on sb/sth. to tell someone not to punish a person too severely Go easy on these children and let them enjoy themselves. to eat or use a small amount of something Go easy on the cake. There isn’t much left. • easier said than done • easy come, easy go
Word study measure • Success isn’t measured by how much money you have. • Popularity is still measured in terms of winning elections. • Measured against the success of some of their rivals, their performance looks poor.
Word study so…as to… • Are you so naïve as to imagine this is not taking place elsewhere? • Who could be so mean as to do a thing like that. so as to • Go in quietly so as not to wake the baby.
Word study work out to • The total area works out to 25,000 square miles. the other way around • You would think that John would have been the courageous one and Jane the timid one, but it was just the other way around.
Word study • convince and persuade convince:make sb. believe that something is true He failed to convince the jury of his innocence. persuade:make sb agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should Nobody would persuade her to change her mind.
Word study • refuse and reject refuseis more positive, often implying decisiveness. declinemeans to refuse courteously. rejectmeans a throwing away, a discarding, or abandoning of someone or something as unsatisfactory, defective, or useless. The company _____ the entire shipment. I'll make him an offer he can't ____. We asked her to he reception, but she ___ the invitation.
Difficult sentences • While elite colleges and universities still have high standards of admissions, some of the most “exclusive” prisons now require about five prior serious crime before an inmate is accepted into their correctional program. (Analogy) • There is a similarity between prisons and universities in their recruiting policy. You’ve got to be outstanding candidates to get into the best colleges and universities. Similarly, certain prisons for dangerous criminals only accept those who have committed five serious crimes before being convicted for the present one.
Difficult sentences • Yet when measured against the lower crime rates this would probably produce, longer prison sentences are not worth the cost to state and local governments. • If criminals were kept longer in prison crime rates would probably go down. But when we consider the money that state and local governments have to pay for this, longer prison sentences are not worthwhile.
Difficult sentences • While it is not possible to know the true amount of crime committed by people released from prison in any given year, we do know the extent to which those under parole are jailed again for major crime convictions. • Although we can’t possibly know exactly how many crimes are committed by released prisoners in a specific year, we do know how many of those people under parole are convicted again for serious crimes and put into jail again.
Difficult sentences • The first-year operating cost would be $ 150,000 per crime prevented, worth it if the victim were you or me, but much too expensive t o be feasible as a national policy. • $150,000 would be worth it if there were only one person’s life, such as yours or mine, to save, but such a policy would be much too expensive to carry out nationwide. Operating cost: money you have to pay to put long prison sentences into practice.
Techniques of writing • Statistical Information In an argumentative piece of writing, statistical evidence is convincing. • Rhetorical Questions These are questions that do not expect an answer but express a strong feeling, opinion or impression. Can we send them to prison? Can we execute more than 22,000 murderers? More examples: Who was he to take stand against a custom? Do you see anything green in my eyes?
Techniques of writing • Selective Use of Repetition Repetition is used for emphasis and expression of a strong feeling. More examples: Alone, alone, all, all alone. He is as vulgar as a hog, as awkward as an elephant, and as ugly as an ape. • Analogy It is the comparison of two unlike things for the purpose of illustration. The comparison is possible because the two things have something in common.
Techniques of writing • Analogy It is the comparison of two unlike things for the purpose of illustration. The comparison is possible because the two things have something in common. • Judicious praise is to children what the sun is to flowers. • The growth of alternative mental interests is a long process. The seeds must be carefully chosen; they must fall on good ground; they must be sedulously tended, if the vivifying fruits are to be at hand when needed.
Discussion • What is the root of crime? • The lack of moral control • The gap between the rich and poor • The lack of effective laws • The police and court being too soft on criminals • The meaningless of life • Lack of education
After class reading Please read a report from National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and pay attention to the the views towards crime and punishment. Crime and Punishment in America: 1998