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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 8 - TEXT FOUR

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2019年02月04日

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How fair are juries? A study published this week offers timely support for a system that used to be regarded as one of the bulwarks of an Englishman's civil liberties but has come under increasing attack of late. In England, unlike America, juries no longer decide most civil trials. And now the government is pushing a bill through Parliament to abolish them in complex fraud cases.
In America the selection of jurors acceptable to both the prosecution and the defence sometimes takes longer than the trial itself. The process can involve exhaustive interviews about prospective jurors' beliefs and prejudices. But in Britain jurors are selected randomly from the 94 Crown Court catchment areas in England and Wales. Most accept the call, and there is little chance to challenge a juror unless he actually knows the defendant. This has not prevented assertions that English juries produce verdicts that are racially biased because they do not accurately reflect society's ethnic mix.
A four-year study by a team at the University of Birmingham's law school, led by Cheryl Thomas, has shown those charges to be largely a myth. In over 95% of the 84 Crown Courts that were surveyed, ethnic minorities were not under-represented among either those summoned for jury service or those actually serving as jurors. Members of ethnic minorities and whites were equally willing to do jury service and to support the jury system.
The study punctured another myth, too, that juries are largely made up of the retired and the unemployed. Women, young people and self-employed folk were all fully represented, the report's authors concluded. And far from shirking jury duty, fancy people in fancy jobs were found to be more conscientious than others, if anything. All in all, jury pools seem to reflect the local population quite closely in terms of race, gender, age and background.
Yet the perception of racial bias is not always unfounded. In London, where 45% of ethnic minorities live and a quarter of all jurors serve, juries are always racially mixed. But in 74 of the 94 court-catchment areas, ethnic minorities, though sometimes concentrated in pockets, make up less than 10% of the population overall. They therefore have little chance of being selected for jury duty.
Ms. Thomas and her team chose to study racially-mixed juries to see whether a defendant's race influenced deliberations. Contrary to widespread belief, no discrimination was found. In an elaborate case simulation at London's Blackfriars court, which involved more than 300 jurors on 27 juries, the verdicts were all remarkably similar, regardless of whether the defendant was black, Asian or white. This does not mean that a defendant's race did not influence individual jurors. Black and Asian jury members tended to show more leniency toward black defendants, whereas white jurors were usually softer on white defendants. But these individual biases did not affect the collective verdicts of the juries. 10 of 12 jurors must usually agree for a verdict to be reached, so individual biases cancelled each other out.
Lord Falconer, the newly-styled justice secretary, hailed the report as a vindication of juries, which he believes are “utterly vital to our justice system”. This has not, apparently, changed his and the government's determination to abolish juries for complex and lengthy fraud trials, however—despite the opposition of most lawyers, civil-liberties groups and the vast majority of the British public.
1. The government of Britian wants to abolish juries in complex fraud cases probably because _____.
[A] juries no longer make verdict on civil trials
[B] the system of juries has been under increasing attack
[C] juries do not accurately reflect society's ethnic mix
[D] the selection of jurors is too complex
2. From the study by the team led by Cheryl Thomas, we may make the following conclusions except _____.
[A] the juries reflect society's ethnic mix
[B] the juries could fully represent people of all walks of life
[C] the juries are made of members of whites and ethnic minorities of equal number
[D] the juries make verdicts without discrimination
3. About the racial bias of juries, which one of the following statements is TRUE?
[A] Racial bias is often counterbalanced with each other among individual jurors, resulting in a fair verdict.
[B] The jurors have almost none individual discrimination toward the defendant.
[C] Racial bias exists in individual jurors but is seldom reflected in their final personal judgment.
[D] The jurors are not affected by their individual bias.
4. In the eyes of most Englishmen, the verdicts by juries are _____.
[A] immune from discrimination
[B] influenced by their prejudices
[C] fair enough
[D] influenced by the defendant
5. Towards the determination to abolish juries for complex fraud trials, Lord Falconer's attitude can be said to be _____.
[A] supportive
[B] opposing
[C] indifferent
[D] dubious

1. The government of Britian wants to abolish juries in complex fraud cases probably because _____.
[A] juries no longer make verdict on civil trials
[B] the system of juries has come under increasing attack
[C] juries do not accurately reflect society's ethnic mix
[D] the selection of jurors is too complex
1. 英国政府要在复杂的诈骗案件中取消陪审团,可能是因为 _____。
[A] 陪审团在民事案件中不再作出裁决
[B] 陪审团制度不断受到攻击
[C] 陪审团不能准确地体现社会种族混合的情况
[D] 陪审团的选择过于复杂
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。第一段提到了英国政府正在将取消诈骗案件中的陪审团的提议提交国会,这句话前面提到陪审团制度正备受非议,后面又多次提到大众对陪审团的偏见,认为存在歧视现象。因此可以推断,之所以要取消陪审团,可能就是因其受到责难。因此,选项B符合题意。
2. From the study by the team led by Cheryl Thomas, we may make the following conclusions except _____.
[A] the juries reflect society's ethnic mix
[B] the juries could fully represent people of all walks of life
[C] the juries are made of members of whites and ethnic minorities of equal number
[D] the juries make verdicts without discrimination
2. 根据Cheryl Thomas领导的小组的研究,我们可以得出以下除 _____ 外的结论。
[A] 陪审团反映了社会上的种族混合的情况
[B] 陪审团可以充分代表各行各业的人
[C] 陪审团由数量相同的白人和少数民族人士组成
[D] 陪审团作出的裁决没有偏见
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆
分析:细节题。选项A,从第三段可以看出,陪审团的人员构成体现了这种民族混合。选项B,从第四段可以看出,不论陪审员是何种族、年龄、背景等,陪审团都充分代表了;选项C,第三段只提到白人和少数民族都愿意参加陪审工作并支持陪审制度,但并未说明二者人数相同,而且从第五段可以看出,有些地区的少数民族人数过少,因而就没有参与的机会,因此该选项的说法错误;选项D,从第六段可以看出这一点来。因此,答案为C。
3. About the racial bias of juries, which one of the following statements is TRUE?
[A] Racial bias is often counterbalanced with each other among individual jurors, resulting in a fair verdict.
[B] The jurors have almost none individual discrimination toward the defendant.
[C] Racial bias exists in individual jurors but is seldom reflected in their final personal judgment.
[D] The jurors are not affected by their individual bias.
3. 关于陪审团的种族偏见,下列哪个陈述是正确的?
[A] 由于陪审团成员之间的种族歧视往往会互相抵消,因此最后的判决是公正的。
[B] 陪审员对于被告基本上没有个人偏见。
[C] 陪审员都有自己的种族偏见,但很少体现在他们最终的个人判断上。
[D] 陪审员不会受到他们个人偏见的影响。
答案:A 难度系数:☆☆☆☆
分析:细节题。根据文章中研究小组所做的研究,个人陪审员对于被告的裁定是会受到个人偏见的影响的,但陪审团整体作出的裁决却不会受到影响。因此,选项 A是正确的。选项C看上去与选项A的表述差不多,但是其错误在于personal judgment,其实陪审员的个人判断也受到了个人种族偏见的影响,只是最终的审判结果在众人的综合作用下是公正的。D是错误的。选项C在文章第五段提到了,在一些地区其实存在着一些不平等。因此,正确答案为A。
4. In the eyes of most Englishmen, the verdicts by juries are _____.
[A] immune from discrimination
[B] influenced by their prejudices
[C] fair enough
[D] influenced by the defendant
4. 在大多数英国人眼中,陪审团所作出的裁决是 _____。
[A] 不受偏见影响的
[B] 受到他们偏见的影响
[C] 非常公正
[D] 受到被告的影响
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。文章第一段就提到,有人认为陪审团不能充分反映各民族的利益;而文章第六段又提出,和广泛的看法相反的是,裁决没有受偏见的影响。那么,公众认为他们的裁决受到其偏见的影响。因此,答案为B。
5. Towards the determination to abolish juries for complex fraud trials, Lord Falconer's attitude can be said to be _____.
[A] supportive
[B] opposing
[C] indifferent
[D] dubious
5. 对于在复杂的诈骗案件中取消陪审团的决议,Falconer阁下的态度是 _____。
[A] 支持的
[B] 反对的
[C] 中立的
[D] 不确定的
答案:B 难度系数:☆
分析:推理题。最后一段提到,Falconer阁下将该报告视为对陪审团的辩护,hail一词也表明了他欢迎的态度,而他的话也表明了他支持报告的结论,反对取消陪审团的决议。因此,答案为B。

陪审团的公平程度如何呢?本周公布的一项调查为一项体制提供了及时的支持,该体制原来被认为是保障每个英国公民的自由的制度,但是近来却受到了不断升温的攻击。与美国不同的是,在英国,陪审团不再裁决民事案件。目前政府正在试图使一项议案获得议会同意,从而在复杂的诈骗案件中取消陪审团。
在美国,陪审员既要被原告方接受也要被被告方接受,选择陪审员花去的时间有时比审判本身花费的时间还要长。选择陪审员的程序还包括对陪审员信仰及偏见的详尽询问。但是在英国,陪审员却是从英格兰和威尔士94个刑事法庭管辖的区域中随机选取的。大多数人都接受传唤,除非本人确实认识被告,否则陪审员很少会遭到质问。但是即使这样,还是难免有人认为英国陪审团所作出的裁决具有种族偏见,因为陪审团不能准确地反映社会的种族混合情况。
伯明翰大学法律学院Cheryl Thomas领导的一个小组进行了一项长达四年的研究,该研究表明,这些指控大多都是莫须有的。接受调查的84个刑事法庭中,有95%充分代表了少数民族,不管这些人是被临时召集过去的还是真正的陪审团成员。少数民族和白人都愿意从事陪审工作并支持陪审团制度。
该研究还破除了另外一个说法:陪审团大多由退休和失业人士组成。研究报告的作者称,妇女、青年和自由职业者在陪审团中都占有一席之地。那些从事特殊行业的人士从不推卸陪审员的责任,而是比其他人更加尽责。总而言之,陪审团在种族、性别、年龄和社会背景上所反映的情况都和当地居民一致。
但是种族偏见的情况也时有发生。伦敦生活着45%的少数民族,有1/4的陪审员在服务,因此陪审团经常是由各个种族的人士组成的。但是94个法庭管辖的区域中,有74个少数民族虽然有时会聚集在某处,但是只占这些地区总人口的不到10%。因此,他们几乎没有机会被选中来参与陪审工作。
Thomas女士及其团队选择研究各种族人士混合的陪审团,以了解被告的种族是否会影响陪审团的审议。和人们普遍的想法相反,其实不存在任何偏见。在伦敦Blackfriars法庭的一次精心设计的模拟案件中,有27个陪审团的300多个陪审员参加,不管被告是黑人、亚洲人还是白人,裁决都非常相似。但这并不说明被告的种族不会影响单个陪审员。黑人和亚洲人陪审员对黑人被告更为宽容,而白人陪审员对于白人被告相对温和。但是这些个人偏见并不会影响整个陪审团的裁决。12个陪审员中必须有10个同意某个裁决,因此个人偏见会互相抵消。
新式司法秘书Falconer阁下将该报告作为对陪审团的辩护,他认为这“对于我们的司法体系是非常重要的”。显然,报告还没改变他和政府在复杂而漫长的诈骗案审理中取消陪审团的决定,尽管大部分律师、公民自由组织和英国大部分民众都持反对意见。
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