VOA常速英语(翻译+字幕+讲解):美国的大陪审团制度
日期:2014-11-25 12:25

(单词翻译:单击)

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听力文本

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Deliberations on whether to try a white police officer for the controversial shooting of an unarmed black teenager are focusing attention on a unique aspect of America’s criminal justice system, the grand jury. We are the only nation that allows citizens -- not the government -- to screen criminal charges before they may go to trial. This dates to our nation’s early history and is enshrined in our Constitution.

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Eighteen-year old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, was shot six times and killed by Officer Darren Wilson during an arrest in August. Police said Brown attacked Wilson and tried to get his gun. Others said Brown was trying to surrender. His death led to months of protests, some violent, and made Ferguson the focus of a national debate about race and police procedures.

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That Michael Brown is dead is a fact, but the circumstances surrounding his death are murky. That’s where the grand jury comes in.

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A panel of 12 local residents – five women and seven men – is reviewing the case. They’ll hear evidence collected in the government’s investigation, and based on that they’ll decide if Wilson should be charged with a crime, such as murder or manslaughter. Unlike a trial, no judge is present, and grand jury members may ask questions and call for more evidence if they believe it exists. They want to answer two questions: is there probable cause to believe a crime was committed, and, is there evidence to show that Wilson was involved in that crime. If at least nine of the 12, voting in secret, decide that it’s reasonable to believe Wilson could be found guilty of a crime, the case will go to trial. If they don’t, no further action is taken unless additional evidence is found.

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The notion of a citizen’s investigative panel stretches to old English law, where many American legal principles are rooted. It was intended to prevent the king from being able to prosecute his critics without good reason. America’s Founding Fathers adopted it in the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which codifies many of our legal protections, such as the right against self-incrimination.

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The system has its critics. Grand jurors often hear only the prosecutor’s side of the case and are persuaded by them. But by requiring a burden of proof be presented before a person can be tried for a crime, the grand jury system provides an important check against arbitrary government action.

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词汇解释

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1.enshrine vt. 铭记,珍藏;把…置于神龛内;把…奉为神圣

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This system is enshrined in our Constitution.
我们的宪法使该制度神圣而不可侵犯S|4C|h+5c,&KcPjJ

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2.manslaughter n. 杀人;过失杀人;一般杀人罪

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A judge accepted her plea that she was guilty of manslaughter, not murder.
法官接受了她的申诉,她犯的是过失杀人而不是蓄意谋杀ADPxahvG;g|,sMK[vLyR

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3.grand jury 大陪审团

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They have already given evidence before a grand jury in Washington.
他们在华盛顿已经向大陪审团提交了证据IEm5%Ie#ZP%

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4.codify vt. 编纂;将...编成法典;编成法典

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The latest draft of the agreement codifies the panel's decision.
该协议的最新草案将专家小组的决定编篡成了法规条款T*K!ar1r2h)[

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内容解析

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1.But by requiring a burden of proof be presented before a person can be tried for a crime, the grand jury system provides an important check against arbitrary government action.

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check against 核对;检查

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Check the numbers below against the numbers on your card.
把下列数字和你卡片上的数字比照一下%;3=xLe2i8BL

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Check the operator'sproductivity against agreed targets.
根据既定目标检验操作员的效率!T&)BwHW~smI(f^fv

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参考译文

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在引发争议的手无寸铁黑人少年被枪击一案中,对于考虑是否审判白人警察,目前的关注点在于美国刑事司法体系的一个独特方面—大陪审团d-v#S0,-6m。只有美国允许公民,而非政府来在审判之前就刑事指控进行筛选9S&,xq3;m@p4)^Wkf。这一惯例要追溯到美国早期历史,且已纳入美国宪法之中G]7o^WaT.!+r.wB|yFd

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密苏里州弗格森18岁少年迈克尔·布朗在8月份被捕中被警察达伦·威尔森开枪击中6次后死亡,警方称布朗袭击了威尔森,并试图夺走他的枪支aFFKBdw[#GKTOz6oQY.p。也有人说布朗准备投降,他的死引发数月的抗议,有的是暴力抗议,使得弗格森成为全国种族和警察程序辩论的焦点FVv|KC!~SaxC

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迈克尔·布朗死亡已是事实,但围绕他死亡的情况令人不解,这就是大陪审团参与的问题qA@E1B6e4sTSlZ

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一个由12名当地居民组成的小组目前正审查此案,包括5名妇女和7名男子s]r-w(Q8%T(|EJgPgFs。他们将听取政府调查获取的证据,并基于此做出是否指控威尔森以刑事罪的决定,比如谋杀或故意杀人9^A3[_oR=_f0Q)]%p。与审判不同的是,这里没有法官,大陪审团成员可能会问问题,如果他们认为还需更多证据,就会要求获得更多证据EI)8p*QU%D。他们想回答两个问题,又没有理由可以让人相信已经有犯罪发生,是否有证据表明威尔森参与到犯罪中sPuS,RGB;rpjo.G。如果12个人中至少有9人认为有理由相信威尔森犯下罪行,那么此案将进入审理中DHB#_f~PpU8z&Me0T5~。如果没有这么多人相信,那么除非找到额外证据,否则不会采取进一步行动S^O(JXegWGop%ji3

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公民调查小组的理念要追溯到古老的英格兰法律,也就是很多美国法律原则的发源_Fby+9*p&c3。其目的是阻止国王任意起诉其批评者,美国的国父们将这一原则纳入宪法第五条修正案,将很多法律保护措施编入法典,比如拒绝自证其罪权#P!7IUhI7LcG;5PEtk(

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也有人对该体系表示批评,大陪审团陪审员通常只听控方的一面之词,并被他们说服W!O6u9FCW8s!AE2。但大陪审团制度要求在因罪行受审之前提供证据,这就能对避免政府任意的法律行动起到很重要的检查作用vw^qDN27DPBVUC!

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重点单词
  • constitutionn. 组织,宪法,体格
  • reasonableadj. 合理的,适度的,通情达理的
  • preventv. 预防,防止
  • legaladj. 法律的,合法的,法定的
  • prosecutevt. 对 ... 提起公诉,彻底进行,追捕,经营,从事
  • trialadj. 尝试性的; 审讯的 n. 尝试,努力,试验,试
  • committedadj. 献身于某种事业的,委托的
  • votingn. 投票 动词vote的现在分词形式
  • controversialadj. 引起争论的,有争议的
  • evidencen. 根据,证据 v. 证实,证明