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A man in America was jailed for 31 years. He did not do anything wrong. He was wrongfully put in prison.

He was let out of prison in 2009. He was let out because people realised he didn’t do anything bad. They knew he didn’t do anything bad because of new DNA technology.

The Governor of Tennessee helped the man personally. He said that the man never did anything wrong and that he should get compensation.

Now, after a long fight, he has been awarded the most money allowed.

Difficult words

Jailed: To taken by the police because you did something bad.

Wrongfully: Something that is not right or okay.

Realised: To know something after thinking about it.

Personally: To something yourself

Compensation: To get money for losing something

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Jailed  A. No right
 2. Wrongfully  B. Locked up
 3. Realised  C. In person
 4. Personally  D. Money
 5. Compensation E. Know

True or False?

1.   A man in the U.K. was jailed for 31 years. T / F

2. The man was rightfully put in jail. T / F

3. The man was let out of prison in 2009. T / F

4.  DNA technology was used to find out if the man did something wrong. T / F

5.  The Governor of Tennessee did not help the man. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. jailed / A / in / was / man / 31 / for / years / America

2. wrongfully / put / in / was / prison / He

3. did / man / never / wrong / the / said / He / that / anything

4. is / money / The / $1 million / maximum / allowed / amount / of

5. given / That / was / is / what / him / to

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Prison Personally Jailed
Allowed Realised Every

A man in America was ___________ for 31 years. He did not do anything wrong. He was wrongfully put in ____________.

He was let out of prison in 2009. He was let out because people ___________ he didn’t do anything bad. They knew he didn’t do anything because of new DNA technology.

The Governor of Tennessee helped the man _____________. He said that the man never did anything wrong and that he should get compensation.

The maximum amount of money _____________ is $1 million. That is what was given to him. He will get the money ____________ month for the rest of his life.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Is crime a big issue in your country?
4. How much do you think the man should get for spending 31 years in prison?
5. What can be done to stop people being wrongfully imprisoned?
6. What would you do if you were wrongfully imprisoned?
7. Do you think a 115 year sentence is ever justified?
8. What do you think about the death penalty?
9. Is it right that someone can be released from prison but not exonerated?
10. What are prison conditions like in your country?
11. Should all crimes committed before DNA testing was available have DNA testing done on the evidence now?
12. How does your country reintegrate prisoners into society?
13. How difficult is it for a person with a criminal record to get a job in your country?
14. Do you think there is a better alternative to prison?
15. Should prison be used more or less as a punishment?
16. How are people chosen for jury duty in your country?
17. Do you think there is a better alternative to a jury?
18. Do you think racism was a factor in his conviction?
19. Is racism a problem in your country?
20. What would you like to ask the man?