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法律英语阅 读与翻译教程(16)

 2.被告人有对 质证人的权利

 

2.The Defendant’s Right to Confront Witness
     《美国宪法 》第六条修正案中的“对质条款”赋予了被告 人与对自己不利的证人对质的权利。这一权利中暗含有交叉询问证人的权利,即被告人有权要求证人出庭,并使证人“看着被告人 的 眼睛”接受辩护律 师的询问。第六条修正案可防止秘密审判的发生;它还可防止 检察官在证人不出庭的情况下,仅凭他们的书面陈述即证明被告人有罪,少数特殊情

 

   The “confrontation clause” of the Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to “be confronted by the witness against”them. Implicit in this right is the right to cross-examine witnesses-that is,the right to require the witnesses to come to court,”look the defendant in the eye”, and subject themselves to questioning by the defense. The Sixth Amendment prevents secret trials, and except for limited exceptions, forbids prosecutors from proving a defendant’s guilt with written statements from absent witnesses.
   同美 国《宪法》为被告人提供的其他大多数保障性权利一样,对质证人的权利起源于英格兰普通法。直到16世纪,对质 证人的权利仍然没有出现在盎格鲁-美利坚的法 律传统中。之后,伴随着由公正陪审团进行审判的权利的引入,以及无罪推定原则的牢固确立,对质证人的权利也被视为被告人的合理抗辩权不可分割的一部分。
   Like most of the protections given criminal defendants in the Constitution, the right of confronting witness has its origins in English common law. Until the sixteenth century, the right of confronting witness was nearly absent from the Anglo-American legal tradition. Then ,with the introduction of the right to trial by an impartial jury and the firm establishment of the presumption of innocence, the right of confrontation came to be seen as an integral part of the proper defense rights of the accused.
   通过 交叉询问,被告人可检验证人的可靠性和可信性。然而,交叉询问的权利也有限制。例如,对于不相关的、间接的、迷惑性的、重复的,或者有偏见的问题,被告人的这一权利则可被拒绝。
   Through cross-examination, defendants are allowed to test the reliability and credibility of witnesses. However , the right of cross-examination also has limits. For example, defendants may be denied the right to ask questions that are irrelevant, collateral, confusing, repetitive, or prejudicial.
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