Saturday, November 13, 2010

Did You Hear about the Morgans?: Witness Relocation Program

My students loved the scene and the activity. The movie, though, has funny moments, but it isn't a movie I would strongly recommend. I managed to use two scenes from it, both really funny. I hope you like it.

A. Work in pairs to discuss the questions below:

1. Have you ever heard of the Witness Relocation Program? What do you know about it?

2. Is there a similar program where you live?

3. Would you tell the police that you witnessed a murder even if you knew that your life could be in danger because of that? Explain it?

4. What kinds of crime you have witnessed wouldn't you tell the police? Why not?

5. Do you think that many witnesses are afraid of reporting a crime because they are afraid of the criminals' retaliation to his/her family? What can be done about it, if it is the case?

6. Have you ever witnessed a crime (or Do you know anyone who has witnessed a crime)? Can you share what you (he/she) saw? What did you (he/she) do about it?

B. Read the Witness Relocation Program's procedures below and decide if you think they are TRUE or FALSE.

1. ( ) Usually the witness is relocated and given a new name.

2. ( ) Witnesses are encouraged to keep their first names and choose last names with the same initial in order to make it easier to instinctively use the new identity.

3. ( ) Witnesses are provided with new documentation.

4. ( ) They are assisted in finding housing and employment.

5. ( ) They are provided with a fixed regular income until they find a new job.

6. ( ) They don't have to work, if they don't want to.

7. ( ) Witnesses are allowed to travel back to their hometowns or contact unprotected family members or former associates in case of emergency only.

8. ( ) In order to prevent the possibility of the witness being followed, the witness is made to indirect transportation path, such as random flights and alternative roads, before finally reaching the location where they will live under the new identity.

9. ( ) This program is established to protect witness against organized crime only.

10. ( ) Every witness who has complied with the terms of the Witness Protection Program has been successfully protected. However, a few witnesses who broke with the terms have been killed.

(information collected from Wikipedia) False statements - 6 (have to work), 7 (are not allowed), 9 (or other serious offenses)

C. Now watch the movie segment from the funny movie "Did You Hear about the Morgans?" and discuss the following questions about it.


1. Describe the scene.

2. What are the witnesses' reaction to the program?

3. Where are they going?

4. How are they going there?

5. Why was that location chosen?

6. How would you feel if you were the main character of the film? Would you adhere to the program? Why (not)?

7. Take a look at the items in exercise B. Say which ones did they mention in the segment.

8. What are the advantages and disadvantages to adhering to a program like this one?

9. In the case of the movie, do you think it will work? Explain it.


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