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[2009.08.06]Unjust and ineffective 立法不公,收效甚微

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发表于 2010-3-18 03:55 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Sex laws
性法律

Unjust and ineffective
立法不公,收效甚微

Aug 6th 2009 | HARLEM, GEORGIA
From The Economist print edition

America has pioneered the harsh punishment of sex offenders. Does it work?

美国作为打击性犯罪的先驱,一直推行严厉的惩罚措施,那么这些措施效果如何?


Illustration by Noma Barr

ONE day in 1996 the lights went off in a classroom in Georgia so that the students could watch a video. Wendy Whitaker, a 17-year-old pupil at the time, was sitting near the back. The boy next to her suggested that, since it was dark, she could perform oral sex on him without anyone noticing. She obliged. And that single teenage fumble wrecked her life.

在1996的某一天,乔治亚州的一所教室因为学生要看电影而熄了灯。一名叫Wendy Whitaker的17岁少女坐在了教室后排。他旁边的一名男生要她为自己口交,并称教室昏暗,没有人会注意到。她屈从了,而正是年少的幼稚毁掉了她的人生。

Her classmate was three weeks shy of his 16th birthday. That made Ms Whitaker a criminal. She was arrested and charged with sodomy, which in Georgia can refer to oral sex. She met her court-appointed lawyer five minutes before the hearing. He told her to plead guilty. She did not really understand what was going on, so she did as she was told.

那名男生还差3周才满16周岁,这意味着Whitaker小姐触犯了法律。她被拘并被以鸡奸罪起诉——在乔治亚州鸡奸也可以指口交。在听证会开始的5分钟前,她被安排与法庭指定的律师见面。律师安排她对罪行供认不讳。她并不清楚这样做将会发生什么,于是她就按律师告诉她的做了。

She was sentenced to five years on probation. Not being the most organised of people, she failed to meet all the conditions, such as checking in regularly with her probation officer. For a series of technical violations, she was incarcerated for more than a year, in the county jail, the state women’s prison and a boot camp. “I was in there with people who killed people. It’s crazy,” she says.

她被判处5年的缓刑,然而她却没有得到大多缓刑罪犯相同的对待,比如定期接受督导感化官的检查。由于一系列不规范操作,他被监禁在一所县级监狱超过一年,那是一所女子监狱兼训练营地。“我竟然和一群杀人犯在一起生活,太恐怖了。“她说道。

She finished her probation in 2002. But her ordeal continues. Georgia puts sex offenders on a public registry. Ms Whitaker’s name, photograph and address are easily accessible online, along with the information that she was convicted of “sodomy”. The website does not explain what she actually did. But since it describes itself as a list of people who have “been convicted of a criminal offence against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offence”, it makes it sound as if she did something terrible to a helpless child. She sees people whispering, and parents pulling their children indoors when she walks by.

她在2002年服完了她的缓刑,然而折磨还没有结束。乔治亚州公开了性犯罪者的个人信息,Whitaker小姐的姓名,照片,家庭住址都可以在网上轻易得到,而且附上她曾犯有“鸡奸罪”。网站上并未具体说明她做了什么。网站自身是这样描述的,名单中的人”曾对未成年人造成伤害,或者做过其他危害社会的性犯罪“。这听起来好像她对可怜无助的孩子做了禽兽的行径一样。见她经过时,众人总是窃窃私语,父母也总是赶忙将自己的孩子拉进屋内。

Punish first, think later
严惩后的反思

The registry is a gold mine for lazy journalists. A local television station featured Ms Whitaker in a spot on local sex offenders, broadcasting a helpful map showing where she lives but leaving the specifics of the crime to each viewer’s fearful imagination. “My husband’s family saw me on TV,” she says. “That’s embarrassing.”

名单上登记的个人信息对偷懒的记者就像一座金矿。一所当地电视台将Whitaker树立成为性罪犯的典型并加以追踪报道,不仅制作了一张曝光她生活地区的地图,而且补充了Whitaker小姐犯罪的细节,使每位观众都对她产生了恐怖的想象。“我丈夫的家人在电视上看到了我”她说,“令我尴尬得无地自容。“

What Ms Whitaker did is no longer a crime in Georgia. The state’s sodomy laws, which in 1996 barred oral sex even between willing spouses, were struck down by court rulings in 1998 and 2003. And since 2006, thanks to a “Romeo and Juliet” clause in a sex-crimes law, consensual sex between two teenagers has been a misdemeanour, not a crime, if one partner is underage but no more than four years younger than the other.

在如今的乔治亚州,Whitaker小姐当年所作所为已经不算是犯罪了。在1996年的鸡奸法中,包括即将结婚的未婚夫妻之间的口交行为也被定为禁止,然而这些规定在1998和2003年已经被法院相继废除。到了2006,多亏了一条“罗密欧与朱丽叶”的浪漫条款,使得年龄相差不超过4岁的未成年人之间的自愿性行为也不再算是犯罪,仅仅受到道德的谴责。

The Romeo and Juliet clause was not retroactive, however, so Ms Whitaker is stuck on the register, and subject to extraordinary restrictions. Registered sex offenders in Georgia are barred from living within 1,000 feet of anywhere children may congregate, such as a school, a park, a library, or a swimming pool. They are also banned from working within 1,000 feet of a school or a child-care centre. Since the church at the end of Ms Whitaker’s street houses a child-care centre, she was evicted from her home. Her husband, who worked for the county dog-catching department, moved with her, lost his job and with it their health insurance.

可惜这条罗密欧与朱丽叶的条款不具有追溯力,所以Whitaker依然位列名单之上,并且受到一些特殊的限制。那些被公开信息的性罪犯不允许居住在儿童密集地区的1000英尺以内,包括学校,公园,图书馆,游泳馆;他们同样也不允许在学校和幼儿园的1000英尺内工作。她曾经被驱逐出自己家门,因为Whitaker所在街道的末尾,一所教堂开起了幼儿园。他的丈夫曾在县属打狗队工作,为了和她在一起,舍弃了自己的工作和两人的健康保险。

Thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Southern Centre for Human Rights, a group that campaigns against rough justice, Ms Whitaker won an injunction allowing her to return home. But her husband did not get his job back, and now works as a labourer. The two of them are struggling financially. And Ms Whitaker is still fighting to get her name removed from the registry. “When you’re a teenager, you do stuff,” she says. “You don’t think you’ll be paying for it when you’re nearly 30.”

多亏了南部人权事务中心——一个致力于反抗有害公正的行为的组织——提交的诉讼,Whitaker小姐终于获得了回到先前住所的许可。可是她的丈夫却无法拿到原先的工作,只能当一名工人。现在Whitaker小姐仍然为从名单上将自己名字拿掉而努力着。“当你还是一个孩子的时候,你做了一些傻事,”她说道,“你不会认为在你接近30岁的时候,你依然要为此付出代价吧。”

Every American state keeps a register of sex offenders. California has had one since 1947, but most states started theirs in the 1990s. Many people assume that anyone listed on a sex-offender registry must be a rapist or a child molester. But most states spread the net much more widely. A report by Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, found that at least five states required men to register if they were caught visiting prostitutes. At least 13 required it for urinating in public (in two of which, only if a child was present). No fewer than 29 states required registration for teenagers who had consensual sex with another teenager. And 32 states registered flashers and streakers.

美国的每个州都将性犯罪者的信息登入名单系统。加州早在1947年就有了第一条记录,然而大多数州的工作还是从九十年代开始的。很多人都认为榜单上的人不是强奸犯,就是对曾儿童进行过猥亵,而事实是大多州政府的名单范围并不像人们想像的那样狭窄。人权观察组织——一个专门向政府施压的组织——的成员Sarah Tofte在报告中称,至少有五个州将曾经招妓的人们也纳入名单范围,也有至少13个州将在公共场合小便纳入范围(其中有两个州将小孩除外),不少于29个州将少年间的自愿性行为纳入在列,32个州的名单包括了暴露狂和裸奔者。

Because so many offences require registration, the number of registered sex offenders in America has exploded. As of December last year, there were 674,000 of them, according to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. If they were all crammed into a single state, it would be more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota. As a share of its population, America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders. America’s registers keep swelling, not least because in 17 states, registration is for life.

由于名单包括内容众多,使得美国的性犯罪者数量激增。截至去年12月分,根据国家失踪和虐待儿童中心的统计,性犯罪者有674,000名。如果让这群人组成一个州,那么该州总人口将超过怀俄明州,佛蒙特州和北达科塔州。作为美国人口的一部分,被登入名单的人数是英国的四倍还多,美国打击性犯罪真的是痛下杀手了。在美国,被登记的人数不断膨胀,主要是因为多达17个州的登记信息将会伴随他们的一生。


Illustration by Noma Barr

Georgia has more than 17,000 registered sex offenders. Some are highly dangerous. But many are not. And it is fiendishly hard for anyone browsing the registry to tell the one from the other. The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, an official body, assessed a sample of offenders on the registry last year and concluded that 65% of them posed little threat. Another 30% were potentially threatening, and 5% were clearly dangerous. The board recommended that the first group be allowed to live and work wherever they liked. The second group could reasonably be barred from living or working in certain places, said the board, and the third group should be subject to tight restrictions and a lifetime of monitoring. A very small number “just over 100” are classified as “predators”, which means they have a compulsion to commit sex offences. When not in jail, predators must wear ankle bracelets that track where they are.

乔治亚州的名单超过了17,000人,其中一些肯定是危险人物,但更多的人不是。然从名单中将这两类人区分出来完全不可能。一个叫“乔治亚州性犯罪者榜单审核委员会”的官方机构对这些人进行了抽样调查,得出了一个结论,其中的65%不会对公众造成威胁,30%的人的威胁不太明显,只有5%的人才具有真正的威胁。委员会认定第一类人将不应再限制居住和工作场所,对第二类只是给予适当的限制,真正应该紧密限制和终生监控是第三类。只有那一小撮“百多人”将被归类为“掠食者”——一种有着强烈性犯罪欲望的人,即使他们出狱,也要戴上一种可以记录他们行踪的脚铐。

Despite the board’s findings, non-violent offenders remain listed and subject to a giant cobweb of controls. One rule, championed by Georgia’s House majority leader, banned them from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. This proved unworkable. Thomas Brown, the sheriff of DeKalb county near Atlanta, mapped the bus stops in his patch and realised that he would have to evict all 490 of the sex offenders living there. Other than the bottom of a lake or the middle of a forest, there was hardly anywhere in Georgia for them to live legally. In the end Georgia’s courts stepped in and suspended the bus-stop rule, along with another barring sex offenders from volunteering in churches. But most other restrictions remain.

尽管委员会已经找到了答案,但是那些没有危害的犯人依然没从名单中撤下,而且还在接受那些乱七八糟的管制。在乔治亚州的,其中就有一条,“居住地必须远离学校校车1,000英尺“。对于一个靠近亚特兰大州,名叫迪卡尔布的村庄来说,这是不可能完成的任务。当地治安官统计了辖区内的汽车站,发现他要驱逐在这生活的总计490名性侵犯者,可是去除湖泊和森林地区后,可供这群人居住的其他合法地区所剩无几。最终法院介入推迟了这条和另一条禁止性侵犯者在教堂做义工的规定,但其他大多数规定依然在实施。

Sex-offender registries are popular. Rape and child molestation are terrible crimes that can traumatise their victims for life. All parents want to protect their children from sexual predators, so politicians can nearly always win votes by promising curbs on them. Those who object can be called soft on child-molesters, a label most politicians would rather avoid. This creates a ratchet effect. Every lawmaker who wants to sound tough on sex offenders has to propose a law tougher than the one enacted by the last politician who wanted to sound tough on sex offenders.

性犯罪涉及方面广泛,其中强奸与猥亵儿童这类严重犯罪会影响受害人的一生,所以父母总是想使他们的孩子远离前面提到的“掠食者”,所以政客通过推行对性罪犯的限制措施总能赢得选票。反对者往往会被套上一个“儿童猥亵者“的帽子,这是政客们千方百计避免惹上的。这就形成了“齿轮效应”,每一位立法者都想要宣传性罪犯的可怕,以便推行比前辈们更严格的限制措施。

A self-defeating pillory

弄巧成拙的公示制度

So laws get harsher and harsher. But that does not necessarily mean they get better. If there are thousands of offenders on a registry, it is harder to keep track of the most dangerous ones. Budgets are tight. Georgia’s sheriffs complain that they have been given no extra money or manpower to help them keep the huge and swelling sex-offenders’ registry up to date or to police its confusing mass of rules. Terry Norris of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association cites a man who was convicted of statutory rape two decades ago for having consensual sex with his high-school sweetheart, to whom he is now married. “It doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make him a threat to anybody,” says Mr Norris. “We spend the same amount of time on that guy as on someone who’s done something heinous.”

尽管法律越来越严厉,但这却并不一定是好事。如果名单中包含成千上万的人,那么追踪真正危险的犯人将会变得十分困难。由于财政吃紧,乔治亚州的官员抱怨他们已经没有多余的财政和人力去维护这个庞大的,并不断膨胀的登记记录的持续更新,更无力执行那些乱七八糟的规定。乔治亚州司法行政长官协会的Terry Norris举了一个例子,20年前一个男孩因为和高中时的情人发生了自愿的性行为而被判处了强奸罪,现在他已经结婚了。“我不是说他做的对,但他并没有伤害别人,”Norris说,“我们过去一直把这种行为和其它真正严重的犯罪混为一谈。“

Money spent on evicting sex offenders cannot be spent on treating them. Does this matter? Politicians pushing the get-tough approach sometimes claim that sex offenders are mostly incorrigible: that three-quarters or even nine out of ten of them reoffend. It is not clear where they find such numbers. A study of nearly 10,000 male sex offenders in 15 American states found that 5% were rearrested for a sex crime within three years. A meta-analysis of 29,000 sex offenders in Canada, Britain and America found that 24% had reoffended after 15 years.

钱被花费在驱逐性犯罪者而不是用做教育他们,这样做真的好么?政客们为推行这些的严厉的手段,有时甚至宣称大多数性罪犯都是不可救药的:四分之三甚至九成的性罪犯会再次犯罪。我们不清楚这些数字是怎么得来的。一项对15个州的将近10,000名男性犯罪者的调查显示,5%的性罪犯在三年内因再次性犯罪而被捕。对加拿大,英国,美国的性罪犯的一项综合分析显示,24%的罪犯在15年后又再次犯罪。

That is obviously still too high. Whether or not treatment can help is disputed. A Californian study of sex offenders who underwent “relapse prevention”, counselling of the sort that alcoholics get from Alcoholics Anonymous, found that it was useless. But a meta-analysis of 23 studies by Karl Hanson of Canada’s department of public safety found that psychological therapy was associated with a 43% drop in recidivism. Some offenders—particularly men who rape boys—are extremely hard to treat. Some will never change until they are too old to feel sexual urges. But some types of treatment appear to work for some people and further research could yield more breakthroughs.

但这还是太高了。对性罪犯的治疗有没有效果现在还在争论。一个调查显示,加州的性犯罪者接受“再犯预防”——类似于酒鬼接受“匿名戒酒会“的治疗——完全没有效果。但是来自加拿大公共安全部门的Karl Hanson对23项有关这方面研究的综合分析表明,心理治疗可以使再次犯罪的几率下降43%。一些犯人——尤其是一些犯强奸罪的男孩——非常难以教育。一些人在只有衰老到没有性欲的时才会有所改变。但是这些方面的治疗还是有些效果的,长期研究也许可以有更大的突破。

Publicising sex offenders’ addresses makes them vulnerable to vigilantism. In April 2006, for example, a vigilante shot and killed two sex offenders in Maine after finding their addresses on the registry. One of the victims had been convicted of having consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend when he was 19. In Washington state in 2005 a man posed as an FBI agent to enter the home of two sex offenders, warning them that they were on a “hit list” on the internet. Then he killed them.

地址的公开使得性犯罪者们容易受到治安维持会的攻击2006年4月,在缅因州就发生了一例义务警员枪杀两名性罪犯的案件,地址当然是从名单上找到的。其中一名受害者仅仅是因为在19岁时与15岁的女友发生了自愿性关系而被定罪。2005年时,一个男子假扮成FBI探员闯入了两名性罪犯的家中,宣称他们已被挂到了网上的“暗杀名录”,然后杀死了他们。

Murders of sex offenders are rare, but harassment is common. Most of the offenders interviewed for this article said they had experienced it. “Bill”, who spent nine months in jail for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old when he was 27 and is now registered in North Carolina, says someone put up posters with his photograph on them around his district. (In at least four states, each offender’s profile on the online registry comes with a handy “click to print” function.) The local kids promptly stopped playing with Bill’s three children. And someone started leaving chopped-up sausages on his car, a possible reference to castration. Bill and his family moved house.

谋杀性犯罪者的事件并不多,但骚扰却很常见,接受过本文采访的大多数罪犯都曾遭遇过。“比尔”因在29岁与15岁少女发生自愿性关系而被北卡罗莱纳州列入名单,他说一些人在他居住的街区张贴带有他照片的海报。(至少四个州的网站提供方便的“点此打印”罪犯照片的功能。)当地的孩子也很快的疏远了比尔的三个孩子。一些人在他的车上留下了切断的香肠,似乎暗示将要阉割他。比尔一家不得不搬离了那儿。

Jill Levenson, of Lynn University in Florida, says half of registered sex offenders have trouble finding jobs. From 20% to 40% say they have had to move house because a landlord or neighbour realised they were sex offenders. And most report feeling depressed, hopeless or afraid.

位于佛罗里达州林恩大学的Jill Levenson说,超过半数的名单上的性罪犯在找工作时遇到了麻烦。20%到40%的人在房东或邻居得知他们是性犯罪者后不得不搬家,他们大多数都感觉到沮丧,无助和担心。

“Mike” spent a year and a half behind bars for statutory rape after having sex with a girl who said she was 17, but was two years younger. He was 22 at the time. Since his release, he has struggled to hold down a job. Once, he found work as a security guard, but his probation officer told him to quit, since the uniform lent him an air of authority, which would not do.

“麦克”在牢里蹲了一年半,因为他与一位自称17岁的女孩发生了性关系,实际她才15,而麦克那一年22.出狱后他努力的去找工作。有一次他曾找到了一名保安的工作,可是他的督导感化官让他辞职,因为保安的制服给他了一种威严的气质,这对一名性罪犯十分不合适。

He is now unemployed, and lives in a flophouse in Atlanta between a jail and a strip club. The area is too desolate to have any schools or parks, so he is allowed to live there. His neighbours are mostly other sex offenders and mentally ill folk who talk to themselves. “It’s Bumville,” sighs Mike. His ambition is to get a job, keep it and move out. Any job will do, he says.

现在他还在失业,居住在位于亚特兰大州的一间廉价旅馆里,两边是监狱和脱衣舞夜总会。那里荒凉到没有一家学校和公园,所以他在那里住下了。邻居们大都是其他性罪犯或者自言自语的精神病。“这算是什么事”麦克唏嘘不已。他现在的目标就是找到稳定的工作,然后搬出去。什么活都行,他补充道。

Several studies suggest that making it harder for sex offenders to find a home or a job makes them more likely to reoffend. Gwenda Willis and Randolph Grace of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, for example, found that the lack of a place to live was “significantly related to sexual recidivism”. Candace Kruttschnitt and Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota and Kelly Shelton of the Minnesota Department of Corrections tracked 556 sex offenders on probation and found less recidivism among those with a history of stable employment.

多项研究证实,由于生活困难和居无定所,他们极有可能再次犯罪。例如,纽西兰州坎特伯雷大学的Gwenda Willis 和 Randolph Grace 发现居无定所是“极其容易引起再次性犯罪的“。明尼苏达州大学的Candace Kruttschnitt 和Christopher Uggen与明尼苏达罪犯改造部的Kelly Shelton跟踪了556名缓刑期间的性罪犯,发现有着稳定工作历史的犯人的再犯罪率较低。

Some bosses do not mind hiring sex offenders, if they know the full story and the offender does not seem dangerous. But an accessible online registry makes it all but certain that a colleague or a customer will find out about a sexual conviction. Sex offenders often report being sacked for no apparent reason. Mike had a job at a cake shop. His boss knew about his record. But one day, without warning, he was fired.

一些老板在知道了那些性犯罪者全部的经历后,只要他们看起来并不危险,并不介意雇佣他们。但是那份可以轻易获得的名单中的登记信息使得同事和顾客很容易发现他们的身份。那些性罪犯称经常被无缘无故的开除。麦克曾在蛋糕店工作过,他的老板知道他的历史,然而某一天,没有任何征兆,他就被开除了。

Publicly accessible sex-offender registries are intended to keep people safe. But there is little evidence that they do. A study by Kristen Zgoba of the New Jersey Department of Corrections found that the state’s system for registering sex offenders and warning their neighbours cost millions of dollars and had no discernible effect on the number of sex crimes. Restricting where sex offenders can live is supposed to keep them away from potential victims, but it is doubtful that this works. A determined predator can always catch a bus.

公开性犯罪者的登记信息原意是为了保护公众,然而收效甚微。新泽西州罪犯改造部的Kristen Zgoba 的研究表明,各州花了上千万美元来打造这个名单系统,旨在警告那些性罪犯的邻居所处的危险,但是却没有有效的减少性犯罪的数量。限制性犯罪者的居住地以使他们远离潜在的受害者,这种做法的效果使人怀疑,因为“掠食者”可以随时搭乘巴士。

Laws that make life hard for sex offenders also affect their families. A survey by Ms Levenson found that 86% of family members felt stressed because of registration and residence rules, and 49% feared for their own safety. “It’s very difficult,” says Bill. “Pretty much all the things that make you a good father are now illegal for me to do.” He cannot take his children to a park, a pool, or a museum. He cannot be at any of their school events. And his children are ostracised. “The parents find out I’m registered and that’s it,” he sighs.

这些法律不仅是性罪犯本身生活艰难,甚至影响到了他们的家人。Levenson小姐做了调查,86%的家庭成员感到了名单和居住限制带来的压力,有49%的成员担心自身安全。“难办啊,”比尔说,“那些模范父亲所做的事情换作我去做,我就犯法了。“他不能带孩子去公园,游泳池和博物馆,也无法参与任何学校活动。他的孩子也遭到了排挤。“他们的父母发觉我的名字在名单上,然后就这样了。“他不禁长叹。

The penalties for sex offenders who break the rules can be severe. In Georgia the first time you fail to provide an accurate address or register annually with the county sheriff to be photographed and fingerprinted, you face ten to 30 years in prison. The second time: life. Yet because living on a public sex-offender registry is so wretched, many abscond.

对于性犯罪者来说,违反规定意味着严厉的惩罚。在乔治亚州,你必须提供精确的住址,并每年让县治安官登记照片和指纹。第一次违反上述规定将会被监禁10到30年,第二次付出的将是——生命。没有隐私的性犯罪者们何其不幸,很多人不得不四处潜逃。

Some states have decided that harsher sex laws are not always better. Iowa has sharply reduced the number of sex offences for which residency restrictions apply. Previously, all Iowan sex offenders who had abused children were barred from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child-care centre. Since where offenders lived was defined as where they slept, many would spend the day at home with their families and sleep at night in their cars at a highway rest stop. “That made no sense,” says Corwin Ritchie of the Iowa County Attorneys Association. “We don’t try to monitor where possible bank robbers sleep.”

一些州已经意识到严酷的法律效果并不那么好。爱荷华州的性犯罪数量曾因为居住限制的实施而骤降。先前,该州所有有过猥亵儿童行为的性罪犯的居住地必须距离学校和幼儿园2,000英尺以外。由于居住地是指那些犯人睡觉的地方,使得很多人白天在家而晚上睡在车或高速公路的休息站里。“真的没有意义,”爱荷华县律师协会的Corwin Ritchie说,“就像我们不用关心银行抢劫犯可能睡在哪一样。“

The Iowan politicians who relaxed the law gave themselves cover by adding a new rule against “loitering” near schools. Mr Ritchie thinks the new rules are better, but he would rather get rid of the residency restrictions entirely and let probation officers make recommendations for each individual offender.

爱荷华州的政客在放宽了现有法律后又加上了一条新规定,专门限制那些在学校附近“游荡”的人。Ritchie先生认为新规定有进步,但他更希望完全废除居住限制,并且让督导感化官对每一位犯人做出详细的情况介绍。

No quarter

国际间的同化

Nationwide, the trend is to keep getting stricter. In 1994 Congress ordered all states that had not yet done so to set up sex-offender registries or lose some funding. Two years later it ordered them to register the most serious offenders for life. In 2006 it passed the Adam Walsh Act, named for a six-year-old boy who was kidnapped and beheaded, broadening the categories of offence for which registration is required and obliging all states to upload their registries to a national database. States had until this summer to comply with that provision. Some objected. In May they were given another year’s breathing space.

放眼全国,形势越来越严峻。1994年国会要求没有建立名单登记制度的各州要尽快去建,否则会被削减当年财政。两年后又要求那些曾犯下严重罪行的人的登记信息要被存留一生。在2006年又推行Adam Walsh法案,这名儿童在六岁那年被诱拐后斩首致死,人们纪念他推行了该同名的法案。该法案拓宽了名单包含的犯罪种类,并要求各州积极将他们的名单信息上传到国家数据库。截至今年夏天各州必须执行这条规定。有些州表示了反对,在今年5月国会决定给予这些州一年的时间去调整。


Illustration by Noma Barr

Other countries now seem to be following America’s lead. Hottest on its heels is Britain, where the sex-offenders’ registry includes children as young as 11. The British list is not open to the public, but in some areas parents may ask for a check on anyone who has unsupervised access to their child. France, too, now has a closed national directory of sex-offenders, as does Austria, which brought in some American-style movement restrictions on sex offenders earlier this year. After the disappearance in Portugal in 2007 of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler, some European politicians have called for a pan-European registry.

其他国家现在紧追美国的步伐,追赶最快的是英国,在那里11岁的孩子也有可能被登入性犯罪名单。尽管英国的登记信息并不向外公开,但是在一些地区,父母们仍然可以确认那些对自己孩子表现可疑的人们是否列于名单之上。法国也是如此,拥有国家性犯罪者的信息簿。澳大利亚与法国基本相同,只是在早年引进了一些美国式的方法,比如对性犯罪者的迁徙限制。2007年,在一个英国的刚会走路的小孩在葡萄牙失踪后,一些欧洲的政客开始呼吁建立一个泛欧的名单制度。

Human Rights Watch urges America to scale back its sex-offender registries. Those convicted of minor, non-violent offences should not be required to register, says Ms Tofte. Nor should juveniles. Sex offenders should be individually assessed, and only those judged likely to rape someone or abuse a child should be registered. Such decisions should be regularly reviewed and offenders who are rehabilitated (or who grow too old to reoffend) should be removed from the registry. The information on sex-offender registries should be held by the police, not published online, says Ms Tofte, and released “on a need-to-know basis”. Blanket bans on all sex offenders living and working in certain areas should be abolished. Instead, it makes sense for the most dangerous offenders sometimes to face tailored restrictions as a condition of parole.

人权观察组织强烈要求美国缩减名单范围,那些轻微的,非暴力的违法行为不应被登入名单,青少年也无需登入,Tofte小姐如此说到。每一名性罪犯都只应被单独查询,只有那些有可能强奸或猥亵儿童的人才应被登入名单。名单必须定期检查,那些生活正常(或者已经老到无法再实施犯罪)的人应当从名单移除。这些性罪犯的名单应交由公安部门持有,不会网上公开,仅仅发布一个“暂时保密,必要时予以公布“的通知,Tofte小姐补充道。那些限制性侵犯者居住和工作地点的限制应全部废除,取而代之的是当那些危险的罪犯假释时,进行有针对意义的限制。

That package of reforms would bring America in line with the strictest laws in other rich countries. But few politicians would have the courage to back it. “Jane”, the mother of a sex offender in Georgia, says she sent a letter to her senator, Saxby Chambliss, urging such reforms. “They didn’t even read it,” she says. “They just sent me a form letter assuring me that they were in favour of every sex offender law, and that [Senator Chambliss] has grandchildren he wants to protect.”

一系列的改革能使美国与其他强国拥有一样很严格的法律,但是几乎没有政客有勇气去支持。乔治亚州的一名性罪犯,“Jane”,说他曾经给当地参议员Saxby Chambliss写过一封信,呼吁那些改革。“他们连读都没读”,她说,“回信只说他们会保证支持每一条有关性侵犯的法律,而且他(Senator Chambliss)也有需要他去保护的孙子孙女们。“
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发表于 2010-3-18 03:55 | 显示全部楼层
我译得也是这一篇,看了你的后,我发现自己有些地方一错了,欢迎你去评论
你的小标题译得好:严惩后的反思,弄巧成拙的公示制度 学习!学习!
也指出一些问题:rough justice 是否应该译成“简单裁决”
but leaving the specifics of the crime to each viewer’s fearful imagination.这一句我跟你译得不一样交流一下。
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你说的对,rough justice译成草率判决也许更合适。我也是刚刚开始练习翻译,大家一起加油
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