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Poor Translations in the Criminal Justice System
Thread poster: yolanda Speece
yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 3, 2006

Some time back I had posed the question asking if anyone knew of any cases worldwide where a translation affected the outcome of a case. I received several responses for which I am grateful. What I am asking for this time around is for specifics. Please provide links,attachments to my personal e-mail, etc.

I am interested in learning how much it costs tax payers every year for not providing detainees, suspects, etc. with the proper translation of documents or interpreting during depositions or trials.

thanks!


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Here You Go Apr 3, 2006

Here is a case from Florida with the translations in the right-hand column:

http://www.news-journalonline.com/special/interpreters/011206.htm


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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is Great! Apr 3, 2006

DO you all have any idea how much this costs the system and the tax payer? Is there any way of finding out?

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The LT>EN Guy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2007)
Lithuanian to English
DoJ? Apr 3, 2006

This will be very difficult in US, as besides the federal courts, you have 50 states and some possesions, with the worst part being the zillions of counties with their courts... Same goes for the prosecutors. But perhaps you should write a formal inquiry to the federal (and state) Department(s) of Justice - they should be able to point you to where you can find the statistics about mistrials/appeals on the ground of mistranslation

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A Hayes
Australia
Local time: 05:31
A lot! Apr 4, 2006

yolanda Speece wrote:

DO you all have any idea how much this costs the system and the tax payer? Is there any way of finding out?


I don't know of any reasearh on this, but I'm sure it costs a lot.

You might be interested in the Critical Link Conference on Community Interpreting (of which Court Int. is a major part).

Critical Link 5 - Sydney, Australia
Quality in interpreting: a shared responsibility
http://www.criticallink2007.com/

[Edited at 2006-04-04 01:12]


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Olga Dubeshka  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:31
Russian to English
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here`s one Apr 4, 2006

I think it is a great topic . It is very important especially in US, the land of the immigrants . The law requires each
person to be provided with interpreter while interrogated and such , but due to it being costly /difficult/rare languages
cases like this happen.

It was a very high profile case here in Florida , when Petrona Tomas (a guatemalan teen ) supposedly killed her newborn by stuffing paper in his mouth. She was charged with 1st degree murder and pleaded guilty, but later her new attorney found out she did not understand Spanish she was questioned(and made plead ) in , and it was customary to bury dead in Guatemala with paper in the mouth . Well, not only the case was notorious because she got probation only at the end, but also because attorney cited wrong language interpreter as the reason for case dismissal. And he won!

http://www.laborlawtalk.com/printthread.php?t=8603

Here`s a link to an article. Unfortunately, when I tried to look up local papers I could not get full archives for free (too long ago), but you can try searching other sources and maybe find out more.

Good luck!


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Link to Story Apr 4, 2006

Here is more info about the story Olga mentioned:

http://www.petronatomas.com/index.shtml


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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do you all know how much it costs to process Apr 18, 2006

a person who has been taken in for committing a crime?

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