Oral Crime Report

 

 In our Oral Skills class, our teacher, Pilar asked us to look for a crime report in an english-written newspaper, and then to prepare a short summary, three terms of vocabulary, and an opinion of it. Then she asked us to upload it to our blogs. Here is the article I have chosen, and my short presentation;

George Stinney Jr: Black 14-year-old boy exonerated 70 years after he was executed

George Stinney Jr’s conviction was overturned because he was not given a fair trial.

George Stinney Jr became the youngest person to be executed in the US in the 20th century when he was sent to the electric chair in 1944, but more than 70 years after his death his conviction has been overturned.

Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen said the speed with which the state meted out justice against the boy was shocking and extremely unfair, and that his case was one of “great injustice” in her ruling exonerating Stinney Jr.

The 14-year-old black boy was sentenced to death for the murder of two white girls in a segregated mill town in South Carolina, in a trial that lasted less than three hours and reportedly bore no evidence and barely any witness testimonies.

He was kept from his parents and any legal counsel when he was interrogated by authorities, and his supporters claim that the small, frail boy was so scared that he would have said whatever he thought would make the police happy, despite there having been no physical evidence linking him to the death of the girls.

Stinney Jr and his sister Amie Ruffner were the last people to see the two girls, aged 7 and 11, alive when they were out in a field near the town of Alcolu. Stinney Jr’s father had been part of the search team that found the girls’ bodies hours later in a ditch, badly beaten with crushing blows to their skulls.

Stinney Jr had been arrested and executed within the space of around three months. Executioners noted that he was too small for the electric chair when he died; the straps did not fit him, an electrode was too big for his leg, and the boy had to sit on a bible to fit properly in the chair.

His case has long been spoken of as an example of how a black person could be railroaded by a justice system during the era of Jim Crow segregation laws where the investigators, prosecutors and juries where all white.

The boy’s family have insisted that he was innocent, and in January they asked a local judge to order a re-trial and clear Stinney Jr’s name, claiming there was new evidence about the crime.

This time Stinney Jr’s case was given a two day hearing in which experts questioned his confession and the autopsy findings, while the judge heard accounts from the boy’s surviving brothers and sisters, and someone who had been involved in the search. Most of the evidence from the original trial was gone and almost all the witnesses were dead.

It took Mullen nearly four times as long to return her decision on Stinney Jr’s case than it had originally taken  to arrest and have him executed in 1944, and said in her ruling that she could “think of no greater injustice” than the boy’s case.

Judge Mullen found that Stinney Jr’s confession was “highly likely” to have been coerced by authorities, while few or no witnesses were found to have testified in the trial.

The judge said she was overturning the boy’s conviction because the South Carolina court had failed to grant a fair trial in 1944.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/george-stinney-jr-black-14-year-old-boy-exonerated-70-years-after-he-was-executed-9932429.html

 

Vocabulary:

  •  Death chamber: a room in which condemned prisoners are executed.
  • skulls: a bone framework enclosing the brain of a vertebrate; the skeleton of a person’s or animal’s head.
  • Coerced:  to do something by using force or threats.

 

The Haunted House

The Haunted House

 

     It was on December the 26th, in 2001, around 6.00 pm, when three brothers, John, Martin and Christian, with their father, Ethan went sailing to Lake Tahoe. They had an enormous white ship, with a huge flag and wooden deck. While they were sailing, the enginees of the ship suddenly stopped.

 

     They were extremely desperate, they were shocked by the recent event. In order to survive, they had to leave the ship and find a place to sleep over the night.. After swimming for an hour, they saw a microscopic and rare island. As soon as they arrived to the shore, the family saw an abandoned and terrifying mansion and decided to enter.

     When they approached the antique place, they noticed that the front black door was opened so they entered. As soon as they entered, they peered the inside of it. The pieces of furniture were covered in spiderwebs. Suddenly, they gazed something moving, after some seconds, they noticed it was a black and horrifying cat. Immediately a grotesque, tall woman appeared. When they saw the ugly being, the familiars ran to the door and tried to escape, however, it was too late, the door was already closed.

     The creepy witch ordered the innocent people to follow her, as the relatives were entirely afraid, they followed her. The spooky woman took them to a horrid basement. When the witch was about to leave them alone in the dungeon, John tried to persuade her to let them go and they would leave the island immediately. The old woman was convinced by John, and she let them go with the condition of leaving the island in no more than three hours. The men accepted the offer, and the witch, with her magic, opened the door and let them leave.
       All in all, they left the island, however, they spent a disgusting experience.

Pasive voice

In our writing skills class, the most recent thing that we have been doing is learning how to write reports. In order to write good reports we have to know how to use passive voice and use it in our reports, so she asked us to look for a tutorial for us to learn how to use it. This is the tutorial I chose, and I recommend you to see it because it’s really useful!