A Literary Graph of Murder

What does this graph tell us? It’s meant to show the frequency of the terms murder and homicide in English books from the time of ‘Jack the Ripper’ to the present day. The answer is probably ‘not much’ – apart from showing that murder is used much more often (in those books that have been …

21st Century Court Reporting

Reports that legal history had been made by a judge allowing the use of Twitter in open court for an extradition hearing in London sparked a few earth-shattering predictions. Was this the end of court reporting as we know it? Could this be ‘possibly the final nail in the coffin of shorthand’? Will court hearings soon be televised? …

The Sentencing Con Trick

If a man receives an eight year sentence for robbery, how much time does he actually serve behind bars? It’s not eight years, for a start. It might not even be four years, although most criminals are told they will serve half their sentences before being released on licence. Some are released even earlier on …

Violence in Films and Computer Games: Guest Blog

Does the portrayal of violence in the media affect human behaviour? Should we be concerned about violence in computer games, books and film? These questions are being asked more often as games in particular grow ever more realistic. The US Supreme Court recently debated whether video games are worse than films and books because they …