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  • Writer's pictureNick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Criminal Trials on Television

Question: In some countries, criminal trials are shown on television for the public. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages? (30/1/20)

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) Law-breakers in many countries face trials that are televised for the masses to observe. Although this trend may be conducive to maintaining law and order, I still believe that the diminished likelihood of offenders fitting back into society after their incarceration would be a significant drawback.

(Body 1) In terms of the merits of trials broadcast on TV, it is widely believed that judges are more likely to pass impartial sentences when they acknowledge the sentiments of people outside the court. For example, in Vietnam there was a case where a child molester could not get away with his crime through bribery and connections with high level government officials owing to pressure from the public, due to it being televised. Therefore the revelation of the offender’s guilt on TV proved to be a greatly effective deterrent for wealthy and powerful people drawing on their abundant resources to save themselves, preempting a foreseeable miscarriage of justice.

(Body 2) Despite the aforementioned advantages, I am still of the opinion that the exposure of criminals on TV can impede their reintegration after discharge. Take thieves for example. If their names and faces are recognised by many people, they will have a narrow window of opportunity to find a job, mingle with their neighbours or make friends. The discrimination they face may trigger depression, ultimately leading to suicidal thoughts since they no longer have a sense of belonging or feel needed by others. I believe, except for felons such as murderers or drug traffickers whose sentences are commonly terminal, other less hardened criminals deserve a chance to re-enter society and function as normal citizens again if they are remorseful.

(Conclusion) To conclude, while the broadcast of criminal trials on TV may do wonders for upholding the efficacy of legislation and justice in court, the protection of a criminal’s identity is worth more consideration as a way to show mercy. We all deserve a second chance, which televised trials may make difficult for petty criminals. Therefore, criminal trials should not be televised as entertainment for the masses.

Essay: Student Essay, fully corrected and upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.

Image: PhotoMIX-Company / Pixabay.


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