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2016年湖北自考英语阅读翻译资料(10)

来源: 整编:湖北自考网 发表时间:2016-04-6 09:52:34 【湖北自考网:湖北自学考试门户网】

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Return of The Chain Gang

Eyewitnesses say it was a scene straight out of a black and white movie from the 1950s. As the sun rose over the fields of Huntsville, Alabama, in the American South, the convicts got down from the trucks that had brought them there. Watched over by guards with guns, they raised their legs in unison and made their way to the edge of the highway, Interstate 65. The BBC's Washington correspondent Clare Bolderson was there and she sent this report:"They wore white uniforms with the words 'Chain Gang' on their backs and, in groups of five, were shackled together in leg irons joined by an eight-foot chain. The prisoners will work for up to 90 days on the gang: they'll clear ditches of weeds and mend fences along Alabama's main roads. While they are working on the gang, they'll also live in some of the harshest prison conditions in the United States. 

There'll be no televisions or phone calls; many other day-to-day privileges will be denied."

The authorities in Alabama say there is a lot of support for the re-introduction of chain gangs in the State after a gap of 30 years (the last gangs were abolished in Georgia in the early 1960s). Many people believe it is an effective way to get criminals to pay back their debt to society.

The prisoners stay shackled when they use toilets. They reacted sharply to the treatment they are given:Prisoner one: "This is like a circus. A zoo. All chained here to a zoo. We're all animals now."

Prisoner two: "It's degrading. It's embarrassing."

Prisoner three: "In chains. It's slavery!"

Six out of every ten prisoners in chains are black, which is why the chain gangs call up images of slavery in centuries gone by, when black people were brought from Africa in leg irons and made to work in plantations owned by white men. Not surprisingly, although three quarters of the white population of Alabama supports chain gangs, only a small number of black people do. Don Claxton, spokesman for the State Government of Alabama, insists that the system is not racist:"This isn't something that's done for racial reasons, for political reasons. This is something that's going to help save the people of Alabama tax money because they don't have to pay as many officers to work on the highways. And it's going to help clean up our highways and it's going to help clean up the State."

However, the re-introduction of these measures has caused a great deal of strong disagreement. Human rights organizations say that putting prisoners in chains is not only inhumane but also ineffective. 

Alvin Bronstein, member of the Civil Liberties Union, says that study after study has shown that you cannot prevent people from committing crimes by punishment or the threat of punishment: "What they will do is make prisoners more angry, more hostile, so that when they get out of prison, they will increase the level of their criminal behaviour."

Civil liberties groups say that chaining people together doesn't solve the causes of crime, such as poverty or disaffection within society. What it does is punish prisoners for the ills of society. 

They say the practice takes the United States back to the Middle Ages, and that it is a shame to American society. But that's not an argument likely to win favour among many people in the Deep South of the United States. Alabama's experiment is to be widened to include more prisoners, and other States, such as Arkansas and Arizona, will very probably introduce their own chain gang schemes.

又把犯人串在一起了

看到这个情景的人说,这就像50年代一部黑白电影中的场景:当太阳从美国南部阿拉巴马州的亨茨威尔的田野上升起时,罪犯们从运送他们的卡车上下来。在持枪的卫兵监视下,他们步伐整齐地向65号州际的高速公路的路边走去。英国广播公司驻华盛顿记者克莱尔德森就在现场,并发回如下报道:罪犯们穿着白我号衣,背上写有"Chain Gang"字样。他们五人一组,用一条八英尺长的铁链把他们的腿拴在一起。这些囚犯要这样串在一起干90天活儿;他们要清理排水沟上的杂草,要维修沿阿拉巴马主干道的防护栏。他们要串在一起劳动不说,他们监狱的有些条件也是美国最恶劣的:没有电视,不让接电话;其他日常生活的权利也被剥削。

阿拉巴马州当局说,事隔30年,有许多人赞成恢复使用这种刑罚认为这是让罪犯向社会赎罪的有效方法。囚犯们上厕所戴着镣铐,他们对遭受的待遇反应强烈:囚犯甲说,"这简直是一个马戏团,一个动物园。所有的人都被链子捆在一起,这是把我们当动物嘛!"

囚犯乙说,"这不是践踏人,羞辱人嘛!"

囚犯丙说,"用铁镣,奴隶制才会这样做。"

用铁链串在一起的犯人60%是黑人,正因如此,这些带镣铐和囚犯想到了几个世纪前的奴隶制下的种种景象,那时黑人带着脚镣从非洲带来,被近在白人的种植园里干活。阿拉巴马虽有3/4的白人支持带镣服刑,却只有很少一部分黑人赞同这样做,这就不足为怪了。阿拉巴马州政府发言人唐克莱斯顿坚持认为这个办法并没有各族歧视的意思:"这样做并非是种族和政治原因。这样做管理高速公路的干部少了,阿拉巴马的百姓就可以少交些税嘛。而且,还可以清理高速公路的卫生,此外,全州的卫生也可以得到清理。"

但是,恢复这些措施招致了许多人的强烈反对。一些人权组织认为,把犯人用铁链拴在一起既不人道也不起什么作用。"公民自由联合会"的会员阿尔文布朗斯坦认为,研究一再证明不能靠惩罚或用惩罚威吓来阻止犯罪,"他们这样做的结果是犯人更加恼怒,抵触情绪更厉害。等出了狱,他们会变本加厉地做坏事。"

一些公民自由组织认为,把人用铁链拴起来不能消除像社会中存在的贫困以及不满等犯罪根源;它的作用不亚于为惩罚囚犯来维护社会的弊病。他们觉得这是让美国退回到了中世纪,是美国社会的耻辱。但这种说法看来不大可能赢得美国南方腹地几个州的人民的响应。阿拉巴马很快就要在更多的囚犯身上使用这个办法,像阿肯和亚利桑那等其他几个州也很有可能实行各自的一套串绑囚犯的办法。


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