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经济学人:新奥尔良的洗冤录

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Innocence in New Orleans

新奥尔良的“洗冤录”
A shocking tale from the Big Easy
自由城里一个骇人听闻的故事
Free after 34 years
监禁34年后被释放
“IT'S all good,” Reginald Adams said as he walked free on May 12th, having spent the past 34 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. A less forgiving man might have put it differently. New Orleans police and prosecutors should have known they had the wrong guy back in 1979. They recovered the gun used in the murder, and linked it to another pair of criminals who had nothing to do with Mr Adams.
5月12日,被误判为杀人犯的雷金纳德·亚当斯迈出了监禁了他34年的监狱,并表示:“一切都很好”。许多不像他一样宽容的人或许会觉得不可思议。事实上,新奥尔良的警方和检察官早在1979年就知道他们判错了刑。他们找到了谋杀案里使用的枪,并证实了该案件与另外两个人有关,而和亚当斯毫无关系。

All the police had against Mr Adams was his confession: one he gave after a marathon interview, during which police allegedly plied him with alcohol and drugs. Mr Adams got almost every detail of the crime wrong, from the calibre of weapon used to the number of shots fired to the sex and hair colour of the victim.

当初,警察一致认为亚当斯先生就是杀人凶手,因为他曾做过一个忏悔—在他接受了一个漫长的采访,并被警方不断指认涉嫌滥用酒精和毒品后。亚当斯先生几乎被指证了每一个犯罪细节,从武器的口径和开枪的次数到受害者的性别和发色。
when they first tried him. And they did not hand over to his defence team the police report tracing the gun's provenance. Mr Adams's new lawyers say—and the city's current district attorney, Leon Cannizzaro, agrees—that detectives knowingly gave false testimony.
在亚当斯先生第一次受审时,警方并没有给他的辩护团提供有关追踪枪支来源的报告。亚当斯先生的新律师称,该市目前的检察官列昂坎尼扎罗,通过了侦探故意提供的虚假证词。
As Mr Adams languished in prison, some of his tormentors were caught wandering off the straight and narrow. One prosecutor became a crooked judge and was jailed for it. One of the detectives served five years for vehicular homicide. And Ronald Ulfers, the cop whose wife was murdered, is now serving life in prison for murdering his second wife.
然而,当亚当斯先生在监狱中备受煎熬时,那些迫害他的人也陆续遭受苦果。一名检察官被证实判案不公正并因此入狱;一名侦探因车祸杀人而服役五年;而受害人的丈夫罗纳德,则因杀害他的第二任妻子而锒铛入狱。
Mr Cannizzaro took only ten days to join the motion by Mr Adams's lawyers to set aside the guilty verdict. The DA said the misconduct was the worst he has seen. That is saying something. The DA's office in New Orleans has become notorious for such cases, largely from the three-decade tenure of former DA Harry Connick senior, the father of a well-known singer. Most of the defective cases involve"Brady violations”: failures to give defendants all material that might be exculpatory.
当时,坎尼扎罗先生仅用了10天的时间就否定了亚当斯的律师团要求预留有罪判决的要求。地方检察官表示这样的渎职行为是他见过的最为严重的一次。这同样也证明了一个问题。在这样的情况下,地方检察院在新奥尔良变得臭名昭著。这样的情况主要产生于前任地方检察院的高官哈利·康在位的三年内。哈利·康是一位著名歌手的父亲。在他的任期内,许多误判的案件都存在“布雷迪行为”:不能给被告充分的机会来证明他们无罪。
In one case Mr Connick's men sent John Thompson to death row for a murder he didn't commit, hiding evidence that would have helped him. Mr Thompson narrowly missed being executed. After his exoneration, he won a 14m judgment against the DA's office.
在一个案例中,哈利·康等人以谋杀罪判决约翰汤普森死刑。而事实上,约翰?汤普森并没有杀人,哈利·康等人却隐瞒了可以证明他无罪的证据。汤普森先生差一点被执行死刑。他被释放后,上告哈利·康等人并获得了140万美元的补偿。
Mr Cannizzaro appealed the award, saying it would bankrupt his office. In 2011 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in his favour, saying the office should not be held liable for the acts of a “rogue prosecutor”. Dissenting, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote that Mr Connick's office had been “deliberately indifferent” to the Brady rule. The Innocence Project of New Orleans, which represented Mr Adams, counts 31 cases from the Connick era where Brady violations have been proven. Mr Connick has said that his office handled so many cases that a few mistakes were bound to occur.
坎尼扎罗先生对此判决提出上诉,声称如果这样,地方检察院将面临破产。2011年,最高法院以5:4的比例通过了他的上诉,并表示地方检察院不应该为“流氓的检察官”买单。同时,这也存在异议。鲁思·金斯伯格法官写道:哈利·康的政权已经“故意冷淡”布雷迪规则了。新奥尔良的无罪行动,释放了像亚当斯这样的在哈利·康当权期间被误判的31人,这就是一个很好的证明。康尼克先生则说他们地方检察院要处理许多案件,出一些错误是不可避免的。
Not long ago, every pillar of New Orleans's criminal-justice system was broken. Now the police and the jail are under federal decrees requiring judicial oversight and reforms, and Mr Cannizzaro has done much to improve the DA's office. But that may be scant comfort for Mr Adams.
不久前,新奥尔良刑事司法体系的每一个支柱都被打破了。现在警方和监狱正在联邦法规的要求下进行司法监督和改革,坎尼扎罗先生已经对当地检察院做了许多改革。这也许是对亚当斯先生的一点微不足道的安慰。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
alcohol ['ælkəhɔl]

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n. 酒精,乙醇,酒

 
senior ['si:njə]

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adj. 年长的,高级的,资深的,地位较高的

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deliberately [di'libəritli]

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adv. 慎重地,故意地

 
defective [di'fektiv]

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adj. 有缺陷的,不完全变化的(动词) n. 有缺陷的

 
exoneration [ig.zɑnə'reʃən]

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n. 免罪,免除

 
liable ['laiəbl]

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adj. 有义务的,应负责的,有 ... 倾向

 
indifferent [in'difrənt]

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adj. 漠不关心的,无重要性的,中立的

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judgment ['dʒʌdʒmənt]

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n. 裁判,宣告,该判决书

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likeness ['laiknis]

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n. 相像,相似物,样子

 
exculpatory [ik'skʌlpətəri]

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adj. 申明无罪的;辩解的

 

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