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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to UsherTalk101.com where we talk about Usher lyrics and analyze them far too much.
That's an old song, isn't it?
Yes, I like it.
Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha. Today, we're going to talk about ten crime-related words. Let's begin.
"Suspect." The first word is "suspect." "Suspect" as a noun. Please be careful, not the verb form "to suspect," though we can use that. "Suspect" and "suspect" have slightly different pronunciations. As a noun, "suspect" means a person who may or may not have committed a crime, may or may not have done something bad. "To suspect" someone means to be suspicious, to think they may or may not have done something. Please be careful. Depending on the grammar, "suspect" and "suspect" have different pronunciations despite the same spelling. "Suspect." In a sentence, "The suspect was seen running away from the scene."
"Criminal." The next expression is "criminal." A criminal is a person who is convicted of a crime. To put that more simply, a "criminal" is a person who has been determined to have done something against the law. They have done something bad. It has been decided by a court of law or the governing body. A criminal has indeed been found guilty, an expression we'll talk about later. A criminal is someone we know has committed a crime. In a sentence, "They arrested the criminal on Wednesday."
"Victim." The next expression is "victim." Victim. A victim is a person who suffers because of a crime or because of a natural disaster. Also, we can use victims for natural disasters and for crimes. They are innocent. They've had no reason to be affected. They're just maybe at the wrong place, the wrong time. Either way, they are--well, I shouldn't say innocent--they are the person who suffers in the situation. A victim is the person who suffers in the situation. In a sentence, "The victim was an elderly woman.
"Guilty." The next expression is "guilty." "He is guilty of blah, blah, blah crime," or "He was found guilty of blah, blah, blah crime." The nuance of guilty is having done something bad. If you are guilty of a crime, it means you have done that crime. Someone can look guilty. We can use "guilty" as an adjective to talk about the way someone looks. Guilty in a court or guilty in discussing a criminal case can mean he or she did the crime. "He is guilty." "She is guilty." However, we can't say "He looks guilty," or "The dog looks guilty." That means that that person, or that object, or that animal looks like they did something bad, but we don't know for sure. "Guilty" means, or has the nuance of doing something bad. In a sentence, "you look very guilty."
"Not guilty." On the other hand, "not guilty." Not guilty is the verdict. "Verdict" is the word used for decision in criminal cases. "Not guilty" means not doing the crime. The crime was not done by that person. A person who is found or determined not guilty means they did not do the crime, or it's been decided that that person did not do the crime. They are not guilty. In a sentence, "He was found not guilty of the crime."
"To plead." "To plead" is similar to "to beg." "To plead" means to humbly request something. This is the image of pleading, your hands together hoping very much for something, asking very humbly for something. This is the verb that we use in court cases, in criminal cases. We'll say, "I want to plead not guilty for the crime of blah, blah, blah." "To plead" means to request consideration for something. "I want to plead not guilty" means I want to request you, the court, the judge, whoever, my community, you find me, you consider me not guilty. I did not do the crime. Instead of that very long expression, we say, "I plead not guilty." This is a much easier way to express that situation. Of course, you can plead guilty to a crime too, in some cases. "He pled," this is past tense. "To plead" changes to "pled." "He pled guilty to the crime of manslaughter," for example. In a sentence, "The defendant pled not guilty."
"Murder/homicide." The next expression, I have "murder" and "homicide" here. Murder and homicide. If you watch police shows or if you watch movies, dramas which use police and FBI and so on, you might have heard these words. What's the difference? "Murder" and "homicide" are used to mean the same thing. It means killing another person with intention. "To murder" someone else means to kill another person and with intention. There's a plan to do it. Homicide is the word that is used in legal terminology or in forensic, "forensic" meaning analysis of bodies, analysis of blood, for example, of bacteria. Scientific analysis of a crime scene. In those cases, in the investigation side and on the legal side, they might use the word "homicide," perhaps more. You might also hear "homicide" in news, but in everyday conversation, "murder" is perhaps more common. "The defendant was convicted of murder." "The defendant was found guilty of murder." In a sentence, "She was found guilty of murder."
"Manslaughter." Another expression, "manslaughter." This is an interesting word. Manslaughter. You can see the word "slaughter" is there. "Slaughter" refers to killing something. We use "slaughter" in many cases to refer to slaughterhouses where cattle are killed, like pigs and cows, for example. It has the image of brutally killing. However, "manslaughter" refers to an accidental killing. For example, driving in a car and just through some strange accident, maybe a person is hit by the car and they died but there was no intention on the part of the driver. There was no plan there. It was an accident, a terrible, terrible accident. In those cases, the word "manslaughter" is applied, meaning an accidental death. In a sentence, "This is a case of manslaughter."
"Jury." The next expression is "jury." Jury. You may or may not have a jury system in your country. In the U.S. jury system, there's a jury of your peers. Peers are people in your community, people in theory who are similar to you in some way. A jury is a group of people who makes a decision about a court case. You often have to give a presentation to a jury. You might see these juries in movies and in TV shows about crime as well. In a sentence, "The jury was divided on the case," meaning the jury did not know how to vote, yes or no, guilty.
"Judge." The next expression is "judge." Judge. Again, your country may or may not have something similar, but a judge is, if you've watched U.S. crime shows or whatever, you might have seen these people. They're men and women who wear these big black robes, usually, and they sit high in courtrooms, above the other people, usually. We also have in the U.S. the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is our, well, "supreme" meaning most high, the best, the highest level. The Supreme Court where we have what we call justices, those are essentially judges, really, they're the highest level of judge in the U.S. They have a word, "justice," but they are judges. They make decisions based on the law, based on the legal rules of the country or the city, or the location where you are. A judge does that. In a sentence, "the judge had a tough decision to make."
That's the end. Those are 10 crime-related words. I hope that those are useful for you. Keep an eye out for this, or keep an ear out for this, rather. You might hear them in TV shows, in movies, in the news, as well. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words. We'll see you again soon. Bye.