Changes over time

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Changes over time by Mind Map: Changes over time

1. Capital Punishment

1.1. Definition- Capital punishment is the practice of execution on a person as punishment for a specific crime after going through the correct legal procedures

1.2. Example- In the 18th Century there were over 200 offences for the death penalty including pickpocketing and shooting rabbits. This shows how laws have changed over time as crimes such as pickpocketing are seen as minor crimes in society.

1.3. Example- Removing the death penalty in the UK meant that their could no longer be miscarriage of justice. Meaning that the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime they did not commit is lowered in the way they will not be sentenced to death.

1.4. Case- Timothy Evans- Was charged with the murder of his wife and child where he was then hung 3 months later. Shortly after Evans death John Christie was found to have committed both murders along with others were he hid their bodies in the walls of his home, he was trialled and hung in July 1953. it took 37 years for Evan's family to clear his name with the help of the campaign 'Justice for Tim Evans'. authorities later admitted there was "no evidence Timothy Evans murdered his wife".

2. Double Jeopardy

2.1. Definition- The prosecution/Punishment of a person twice for the same offence. In the past there was a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same charges and on the same facts following a valid non guilty conviction. The Criminal Justice 2003, changed this and it is now legal for someone to be trialled for the same act and charges especially with new evidence.

2.2. Example- The law around double jeopardy has changed over time. As new evidence is presented someone who has received a non guilty conviction should be put up for a re trial presenting the new evidence to decide a verdict. New evidence can develop through; increased technology, increased evidence (DNA), advance in labs, more accurate forensics and new witnesses.

2.3. Case- Julie Hogg- 22 year old mother of 1 Julie Hogg was murdered by her partner (Billy Dunlop) in 1989. She was hidden behind her bathroom tiles in her apartment where she was later found by her mother. Dunlop was tried but was found not guilty after the jury failed to reach a verdict on 2 separate occasions. Dunlop was not jailed for her murder as due to the double jeopardy law he could not be tried twice for the same charges, even after he admitted to killing Julie. Julie's mother fought for 15 years to change the law and launched a justice for Julie campaign. In April 2005 the law changed around double jeopardy and Dunlop was sentenced to life in 2006 after pleading guilty.

3. Moral Crimes

3.1. Definition- Moral crimes often change the law over time. many of the crimes are often ignored by society due to the change in acceptance in society.

3.2. Example- Prostitution- Legal in the UK but activities such as soliciting in public spaces, pimping and kerb crawling are unlawful. There are 'zones' in the UK for prostitutes, in these zones they cannot be arrested. Prostitutes feel they can not report a crime if they ever do occur as they are seen to be the offender rather than the victim. The stigma around women is seen to be immoral.

3.3. Example- Vagrancy- Illegal under the vagrancy act 1824. however, the act has fell into disuse over time as society accepts their are legitimate reasons for people and their vagrancy. Vagrancy is so common that society has normalised it and has accepted it within society.

4. Model Answer

4.1. Homosexuality is one example of why the law has to change over time. This is because society is more accepting over same sex couples and therefore it has become normalised. With society normalising homosexuality it means the law has to change to fit societies norms/values/morals. This means that homosexuality has now been decriminalised by law due to societies opinions changing. Homosexuality is protected under the equal rights act now giving everyone equal rights no matter their sexual orientation. However, 71 countries are still against homosexuality, where a person can be imprisoned for their sexual orientation through the law.