In most societies that have any glimmering of civilization, a person accused of wrong doing is given at least a nominal chance of proving his innocence. The Romans had a highly sophisticated/comprehensive system of courts and the members of their legal profession were well educated but the Saxons who followed them to rule Britain used rougher methods.
From about the sixth century A.D. to the eleventh the majority of the trials were in the form of cruel physical torture (carrying a piece of red hot iron, stepping barefoot and blindfold across a floor covered with red hot coals or sometimes by a gentler method of oath — swearing.
The accused was ordered to bring to the Saxon authorities, a police officer or a priest could be persuaded to swear on oath or still a number of persons who would say that the accused was of good character and thus innocent. The number of persons who swore depended on the crime.
A noble/a landlord or a priest counted for up to half a dozen ordinary peasants. As almost everyone lived in small villages, where almost everyone knew everyone else, and very few would risk telling a lie on oath (the people were mostly religious), the truth was generally told. If the accused could not produce enough oath helpers, he was found guilty and punished.
In the eleventh century the Normans introduced trial by battle in certain cases. The accused and the accuser fought with special weapons until one was dead or surrendered. It was believed that God would know the guilty and give the innocent the power to win. The whole idea became ridiculous when both the parties were allowed to hire champions who would fight on their behalf. It seemed likely whoever could pay the more for a stronger professional fighter stood a good chance of winning and judged innocent. This may sound unfair to us but there is a parallel with a wealthy person today who can hire a costly and brilliant barrister to defend him.
In the early middle ages when England was a land of small villages remote from each other, crime tended to be basic and direct : beating up, theft, sex and murder being the main offences. But as towns and manufacturing and commerce grew, the possibilities for cheating and fraud soared. The whole organisation of society became more complex and opened the door to a world of more sophisticated wickedness. With no regular police force, spies and informers were offered rewards when they brought in criminals.
Around 194 millions birds and 29 million mammals are thought to be killed each year on European roads, according to a new study that has ranked the most vulnerable species. The research has found that the species killed most often were not necessarily the endangered species. This means action to preserve wildlife when new roads are built risks being targeted at the wrong species based on current methods. Road densities in Europe are among the world's highest, with 50% of the continent within 1.5 km of a paved road or railway. Roads are therefore a significant threat to wildlife, and evidence shows deaths on them could even cause some species to disappear completely.
Despite this, the long-term protection of species is not currently considered when assessing the impact of new roads on wildlife, meaning we risk giving support to only the endangered species, doing nothing to help those most at risk. A better understanding of which species are most vulnerable to roads is therefore important if we are to take a more effective action of protection.
A research team based in Lisbon calculated road-kill rates for 423 bird species and 212 mammal species. They found that small animals with high population densities and which mature at an early age were most likely to be killed on roads. Nocturnal mammals and birds with a diet of plants and seeds were also shown to have higher death rates.
The study also used the road-kill surveys to rank the bird and mammal species whose long-term survival was most threatened by road-kill. The hazel grouse and ground squirrel were found to be the most at risk of local extinction. Both are common in Europe but are classified as species of Least Concern Red list of Threatened Species.
The most vulnerable animals classified as threatened by IUCN were the red-knobbed coot, Balcan mole and Podolian mole. The study revealed that road-kill hotspots were not the areas with the highest population of endangered species. For example, house sparrows had a high road-kill rate (2.7 per km/year) but were ranked 420th of 423 bird species for vulnerability. Conversely, the hazel grouse had a low predicted road kill-rate (0.2 per km/yr) but was most vulnerable of all birds studied.
III. Complete the following statements by filling in the blanks with the help of given options : (any five)
You are Arun. Near the gate of your colony there is a motor mechanic’s workshop. Many cars are parked outside on the pavement and even beyond. Repair work goes on. The surroundings have become filthy, pedestrians are put to trouble. Arun decides to write a letter of complaint, of course, for wider audience/readership. (any five)
V. Read the extract given below and attempt the questions / complete the statements that follow :
As for Maddie, this business of asking Wanda every day, how many dresses and how many hats, and how many this and that she had was bothering her. Maddie was poor herself. She usually wore somebody’s hand-me-down clothes. Thank goodness, she didn’t live up on Boggins Heights or have a funny name.
VI. Read the extract given below and answer the questions / complete the statements that follow :
The moment the letter fell into the mailbox the postmaster went to open it. It said : “God : of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much. But don’t send it to me through the mail because the post office employees are a bunch of crooks. Lencho.”
VII.Read the stanzas given below and answer the questions / complete the statements that follow:
He should be snarling around houses
At the jungle’s edge,
Baring his white fangs, his claws,
Terrorizing the village!
But he’s locked in a concrete cell,
His strength behind bars,
Stalking the length of his cage,
VIII. Read the extract given below and answer the questions / complete the statements that follow:
He escaped easily enough from the boys who followed his footprints in London. But his adventures were by no means over. He had chosen a bad time of the year to wander about London without clothes. It was mid-winter. The air was bitterly cold and he could not do without clothes. Instead of walking about the streets, he decided to slip into a big London store for warmth.
IX. Attempt the following: