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讀紐時學英文
2019/12/27 第291期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 
紐時周報精選 Prosecutors’ New Role: Helping Those Wrongly Convicted 檢察官的新角色 幫助冤獄犯
In Amsterdam, Floating Homes That Only Look Like Ships 荷蘭阿姆斯特丹 「船屋」當道
紐時周報精選
 
Prosecutors’ New Role: Helping Those Wrongly Convicted 檢察官的新角色 幫助冤獄犯
文/Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Fa
譯/莊蕙嘉

After Aaron Salter was convicted of murdering a man he had never met, he immediately began trying to track down the real killer from behind bars. When another inmate described the crime in detail, Salter began investigating him. Eventually that other man signed an affidavit swearing that Salter was innocent.

艾倫.梭特被判定謀殺罪,儘管他根本沒見過遇害男子。於是身在獄中的他立刻開始嘗試找出真凶。在聽到另一名囚犯描述此案的細節後,梭特開始調查他。最後那個人簽下宣誓口供,載明梭特是無辜的。

Yet appeals courts refused to grant him a new trial.

然而上訴法院拒絕重審。

Then, last year, his lawyers sent his file back to the Wayne County prosecutor in Detroit — the same office that had sent him away for life without parole in 2004. This time, the file landed in the hands of the office’s new conviction integrity unit, which determined that the case against Salter had been based on mistaken identification by the prosecution’s only witness.

然後,到了去年,梭特的律師將此案卷宗送回底特律的韋恩郡檢察處,該處正是2004年讓他被判無期徒刑且不得假釋的起訴單位。這一次,他的卷宗到了檢察處新設的定罪完善小組手上,他們斷定梭特被判有罪的依據,是檢方唯一一名目擊證人的錯誤指認。

“Three months later, I was free,” Salter said.

梭特說:「三個月後,我自由了。」

The unit that exonerated him is part of a major shift in the role of some of the nation’s district attorneys, who have traditionally focused on sending people to prison. Now, a growing number of prosecutors are also working to get wrongly convicted people out.

設置這個證明他無罪的單位,反映出美國一些地方檢察官角色的重大轉變,傳統上他們著力於如何把人送進監獄。而今,致力讓坐冤獄者出獄的檢察官正不斷增加。

Their efforts have provided an unflattering look at a system focused on winning convictions, sometimes with little apparent regard for a suspect’s actual guilt. In some instances, re-examining old cases has forced prosecutors to go up against their predecessors or their city’s police force, accusing them of wrongdoing or negligence.

他們的努力讓我們得以冷眼檢視以贏得定罪為上的一個體制,這體制有時對嫌犯的實際罪行鮮少明白的關注。在一些案例中,重新檢視舊案迫使檢察官和先前的承辦檢察官或城市警方對立,指出他們的錯誤或疏忽。

Almost 60 local prosecutors across the country have created special units like the one in Detroit to review questionable convictions, including the state’s attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, who last month persuaded a judge to exonerate three men convicted of murdering a fellow student when they were teenagers. They had spent 36 years behind bars.

全國共近60位地方檢察長已新設像底特律這樣的特別單位,檢視有疑問的定罪案件,包括巴爾的摩的馬里蘭州州檢察長瑪麗蓮.摩斯比,她上月說服一名法官釋放三名因謀殺被定罪的男子,他們涉嫌於青少年時期殺害一名同學,已在獄中待了36年。

The units have helped clear almost 400 people over the past dozen years, and they helped win releases in more than a third of the 165 exonerations recorded in 2018, according to a national registry maintained by three universities. The exonerated were largely African American men convicted of crimes like murder, robbery and drug offenses. Their prosecutions were found in many cases to have been marred by perjury, false accusations or misconduct by police officers or prosecutors.

12年來這些單位已經協助近400人洗清罪名,而且根據三所大學管理的國家紀錄,2018年登記在案的165件無罪開釋案中,超過三分之一是他們促成的。獲開釋者多半為因謀殺、搶劫及毒品等罪名被定罪的非裔美國男性,在許多案例中,他們的起訴因為偽證、錯誤指控或檢警的不當行為而有瑕疵。

Mosby has won exonerations for nine people since she took office in Baltimore in 2015 but not without criticism from some former prosecutors and police officers who consider it a rebuke of their work.

摩斯比自2015年接下職務以來,已使九人獲釋,卻也遭受一些前檢察官和警官批評,認為這否定了他們的工作。

The unit in the Detroit prosecutor’s office that secured the release of Salter was established two years ago. It has helped free 11 people, including five who were determined to be innocent and six whose prosecutions were profoundly flawed.

底特律檢察處這個使梭特獲釋的單位成立於兩年前,已使11人獲釋,其中五人確定無辜,六人起訴過程有重大瑕疵。

※說文解字看新聞【張佑生】

本文可視為基本的法律專業術語表(Legal Terms Glossary),許多單字常在新聞出現。以convict來說,名詞是遭定罪的已決犯(既決犯),1997年好萊塢電影《Con Air》描述用飛機將一票重刑犯移監的過程,乃是Convict Airlines的縮寫,本地片名譯為《空中監獄》,頗為傳神。注意別跟air conditioning(空調系統)的縮寫air con搞混。

Convict當動詞指「定罪」,be convicted of罪名或罪行;to get wrongly convicted是「冤獄」,原因可能是檢警調的違法失職(wrongdoing or negligence):judicial misconduct是「法官失職」:或因perjury(偽證,「教唆偽證」則是subornation of perjury)、false accusation(栽贓)、誣告(malicious accusation)。

本文主角是檢察官(prosecutor),職司起訴,負責審判的是法官(judge),美國聯邦最高法院大法官是Supreme Court Justices,中華民國的大法官不隸屬於最高法院, 而是在司法院組憲法法庭,英文用Constitutional Court Justices。

 
In Amsterdam, Floating Homes That Only Look Like Ships 荷蘭阿姆斯特丹 「船屋」當道
文/Christopher F. Schuetze
譯/李京倫

阿姆斯特丹船屋當道

When Karen Bosma first moved her boat to the Borneokade, northeast of Amsterdam’s bustling city center, in 1999, the neighborhood was barely more than a cluster of commercial docks and underused warehouses.

凱倫.博斯馬1999年剛把她的船移到荷蘭首都阿姆斯特丹熱鬧市中心東北方的波諾卡德時,這一帶幾乎只有成排商船船席和不常使用的倉庫。

“It was for poor people — a lot of artists lived on boats,” she said, sitting in her neat, cozy living room just below the waterline.

博斯馬坐在她整潔舒適的客廳裡回憶說:「當時這是窮人聚居區,很多藝術家住在船上。」客廳就在吃水線下方。

In the quarter century since, Bosma, a 62-year-old social worker, and her husband have raised two sons on the Distel, a 1912 82-foot freighter, which — stripped of its engine, fuel tanks and cargo hold — is one of Amsterdam’s iconic houseboats, with a seagoing hull, wheelhouse and curtained windows.

此後的四分之一個世紀,現年62歲的社工博斯馬和先生,在這艘船上把兩個兒子帶大。這艘船名叫「迪斯特爾」,是1912年打造的貨船,長25公尺,引擎、燃料槽和貨艙都已去除,是阿姆斯特丹著名船屋之一,具備遠洋船船體、舵手室和裝上窗簾的窗子。

Three boats down lies the B18, an elegant 131-foot, 2 1/2-story floating mansion (with more than 3,000 square feet of interior space) that shows just how perfectly the soul of a luxury yacht combines with open-space living and elegant living quarters.

三艘船以外停泊著B18,是雅緻的兩層半水上豪宅,長40公尺,室內面積超過279平方公尺(約84坪),顯示奢華遊艇的精髓如何與室外生活和優美的室內起居空間完美結合。

“It has to be a ship on the outside and a house on the inside,” said Gijs Haverkate, 53, who created the vessel and lives on it with his family.

53歲的哈福卡特造了B18,並與家人住在船上,他說:「B18必須外觀是艘船,內部是個家。」

In the Dutch capital, houseboats have gone upmarket. The new owners are wealthy and discerning, interested in new designs, upgraded comfort and sustainability.

在阿姆斯特丹,船屋已變得高檔了。新一批船屋主人富裕且有品味,對新設計、更高的舒適感和永續性都很感興趣。

Haverkate, a designer by trade, hopes his boat will inspire others to build on the water. He runs UrbanShips, a company that builds customized houseboats designed to look like ships.

哈福卡特以設計為業,希望他的船能激勵別人在水上蓋房子。他經營「都市船」公司,依照客戶需求打造看來像船隻的船屋。

After years of serving as a relatively cheap place to live in an expensive city, Amsterdam’s houseboats — or rather the spaces they float — have become popular and expensive, with prices increasing 30% to 40% over the past five years alone, according to Jon Kok, one of the city’s best known houseboat real estate agents.

阿姆斯特丹的船屋(更確切地說,是承載船屋的水面),原本的功用是在這昂貴的城市中作為相對廉價的住所,多年下來卻變得大受歡迎且價格高漲,阿姆斯特丹最知名船屋仲介公司之一「約翰科克」資料顯示,單單這五年來,船屋價格就漲了三到四成。

The whale’s share of the price increase comes from the value of the berth, not the ship.

船屋價格上漲,主要是因為船席變得更值錢,而不是船體本身。

A typical Amsterdam canal berth might be worth close to a half-million dollars, depending on its location and how big a ship it will allow; some of the older, unrenovated ships in those berths might be worth only $20,000 (building a new ship, of course, is much more expensive).

一個典型的阿姆斯特丹運河船席,可能就要近50萬美元,視地點和可容下多大船隻而定。停在這種船席上的一些老舊未翻新船隻,可能只值兩萬美元。(當然,造新船貴得多。)

But in this gentrification debate, the cost of new berths is less important than the architecture of the ship — and whether they ever served as actual commercial ships.

不過,在討論船屋愈來愈高級的話題時,新船席的價格並不如船隻的設計美感和是否曾作為真正的商船來得重要。

Once populated by converted working boats, the canal now holds an increasing number of floating houses designed to look like oceangoing vessels but with hardly any of the working features of a real boat.

阿姆斯特丹的運河曾經滿是工作船改造後的船屋,現在有愈來愈多的水上房屋,設計成外觀像遠洋船,但實際上幾乎不具備真正船隻的功能。

 
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