Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 4.4 B. Importance of Accurate Interpretation
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Accurately interpreting from another language to English, and back, in a criminal cases presents enormous challenges. Legal English is very difficult at best, both in vocabulary and syntax. There are many players in the courtroom, sometimes with more than one speaking at once, and juggling two languages in this complex setting is extremely difficult. If the client speaks English as a second language, but not well enough to understand exactly what is going on, it may sometimes be even worse than not understanding English at all. Interpreting is not an exact science. “Interpreters, no matter how bilingual and bicultural, must constantly weigh choices in search of the best ways to convey shades of meaning and speaker intent. A defense attorney must be aware of the task faced by an interpreter and participate in maximizing the accuracy of the interpretation.”
 Kay, Ramirez & Hill, Using Interpreters, in Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense 2-1 J. Connell & R. Valladares, eds., Juris Publishing, 2000).
LaVigne and Van Rybroek, Breakdown in the Language Zone: The Prevalence of Language Impairments Among Juvenile and Adult Offenders and Why It Matters, 15 U.C. DAVIS J. JUV. L. & POLICY 37 (2011); Rogers et al., Spanish Translations of Miranda Warnings and Totality of the Circumstances, 33 LAW AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR 61 (2009); Rogers et al., The Language of Miranda Warnings in American Jurisdictions: A Replication and Vocabulary Analysis, 32 LAW HUM. BEHAV. 124 (2008); Rogers et al., The Comprehensibility and Content of Juvenile Miranda Warnings, 14 PSYCHOL. PUB. POL'Y & LAW 63 (2008); Rogers et al., An Analysis of Miranda Warnings and Waivers:Comprehension and Coverage, 31 LAW & HUM. BEHAV. 177 (2007); Grisso, INSTRUMENTS FOR ASSESSING UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF MIRANDA RIGHTS (Professional Resource Press 1998). Thanks to Jason Cox.
OVERVIEW"CONTACT WITH ICE"INTERPRETER ISSUES
Use of interpreters at secondary immigration inspection: http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/FR/HTML/FR/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-30133/0-0-0-35080/0-0-0-36316/0-0-0-36468.html
INTERPRETER"ABA REPORT ON ACCESS TO LANGUAGE IN THE COURTS
American Bar Association, ABA Standards for Language Access in Courts (2012) http://www.abanow.org/wordpress/wp-content/files_flutter/1326398698_31_1_1_9_resolution_summary.pdf