Tonight there’s aired the second part of a two part documentary by Gordon Ramsay about cocaine. This Autumn you’ll also be able to watch An Hour to Catch a Killer with Trevor Macdonald; Ross Kemp in Jail; and Serial Killed with Piers Morgan.
The Everton footballer Wayne Rooney, formerly of Manchester United, has been given a 100 hour comment service and banned from driving of two years. Drink-drive multi-millionaire Wayne Rooney was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge. But now the question is what form will the community work take and where will the probation service send him? Will he end up litter picking or painting a park wall?
Other celebrities who’ve ended up doing community service for their crimes are singer Boy George, model Naomi Campbell, singer George Michael, footballer Joey Barton, and TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher. Some people believe that celebrities doing community service only ends up benefitting the celebs who have increased paparazzi exposure.
Naomi Campbell’s community service for hitting her housekeeper in the head with a mobile phone ended up more like a catwalk show:
Would a custodial sentence have been a better punishment?
Kirsty Gallacher, a Sky Sports presenter, was found to have 106 micrograms per 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100ml of breath. She had been out drinking alcohol the night before and then after getting a taxi home she drove in her car to go and pick up her kids for a day out at Windsor Castle. Police spotted her driving all over the place and then stopped her, to discover her drink driving.
In court today her punishment for being found guilty of drink driving was a two year driving ban which could be reduced by six months if she opted to take part in a driving safety course at a later date. She has to do 100 hours of unpaid community service and was ordered to pay £85 in court charges and a separate surcharge of £85.
Kirsty must have been drinking a lot the night before for the alcohol to be so high in her system. The NHS recommends that if you drink alcohol, you don’t do it excessively:
As a teenager it is really important to keep away from drinking alcohol. It can lead to risky behaviours, such as driving when you shouldn’t, or having unprotected sex. Moreover drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time or very rapidly can cause alcohol poisoning, which can lead to coma or even death.
There are often newspaper exposes of how cushy it is in prison: drugs on tap, computer games… a bit like a luxury hotel. Well a court case agains the Ministry of Justice is shedding some light on what Feltham Youth Offender Institute is like for some of guests.
- locked in his cell for 23 and a half hours a day and denied the education to which he is legally entitled
- let out of his cell for only half an hour a day to make phonecalls, take a shower or be given medication.
- not allowed into the gym
- one-third of imprisoned children spent time in isolation
Just over 2 minutes into this BBC art news report there is a section about Arthur Fellig’s photography of Depression era New York. Fellig’s photography created a debate many years ago in journalism which still continues to this day about where the limits lie in showing images of violence in the news. Murder is my Business is the name of the exhibition.
Arthur Fellig apparently earned the nickname Weegee during his early career as a freelance press photographer in New York City. His apparent sixth sense for crime often led him to a scene well ahead of the police. Observers likened this sense, actually derived from tuning his radio to the police frequency, to the Ouija board, the popular fortune-telling game. Spelling it phonetically, Fellig took Weegee as his professional name.
My parents were strict on how much TV we could watch. This was pre-Internet days, so the biggest thing to pull us away from doing the homework, household chores, doing sport or practising the flute was TV. Only being allowed to watch 30 minutes TV a day felt like torture so when I chose to do Media Studies GCSE the joy of being able to say “I’ve got to watch A, B and C for homework” was a welcome passport to TV heaven.
So what is out there in the realms of television that might help you relax from over zealous revision and increase your knowledge of crime and punishment at the same time?
Up there as a number one priority for people trying to learn about crime and punishment has got to be Netflix’s Making a Murderer. Filmed over 10 years, the real-life thriller follows a DNA exoneree who, while exposing police corruption, becomes a suspect in a grisly new crime. It will have you gripped from start to finish.
The Independent lists an excellent collection of documentaries that those people suffering from the demise of Making a Murderer can turn to when wanted to continue following real life storylines about crime.
Or perhaps you’d prefer some fictional characters. Broadchurch has recently finished on Series 3 with its police investigations, causes of crime and court scenes. Whereas Line of Duty can offer police corruption with some intermittent court cases too.
An extended interview in the Guardian with Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan provides fresh debate about the state of Islam and whether it should adapt to modern society.
Ten Things You Thought You Knew about Islam is the catchy name of the appendix of Ramadan’s new books where he states his beliefs about Islam’s need to change…
Ramadan explains that Sharia is a guide to ethics, not simply a legal code. Corporal and capital punishments are the result of a “brutal and literalist” application of it and should be suspended. His approach to gay people seems to be love the sinner, hate the sin – a conservative one in the context of very recent progress in the west, but hardly incompatible with life here, as millions of traditional Christians demonstrate. Islam considers modest dress for men and women an obligation, although not an essential one. Ramadan wants Muslims, particularly western ones, to think of themselves as absolutely part of modern society, and to push it in the direction of human rights and equality of opportunity. He is clearly frustrated by the reduction of his faith into questions of hijab or homosexuality by non-Muslims.
Let’s just clarify what Sharia Law is. It comes from a combination of sources including the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book), the Hadith (sayings and conduct of the prophet Muhammad) and fatwas (the rulings of Islamic scholars). People often hear of the gory elements of Shar’iah when severe punishments like having your hand chopped off for stealing are spoken about. Students doing about crime and punishment for the RS GCSE will need to know something about Shar’iah.