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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 43602 Find in a Library
Title: NO COMPRENDO - THE NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING DEFENDANT AND THE CRIMINAL PROCESS
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:68  Issue:1  Dated:(MARCH 1977)  Pages:15-30
Author(s): J B SAFFORD
Corporate Author: Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Northwestern University
Chicago, IL 60611
Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROBLEMS INHERENT IN ARRESTING, SETTING BAIL FOR, ARRAIGNING, ACCEPTING A PLEA FROM, AND TRYING DEFENDANTS WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR SPEAK ENGLISH ARE EXAMINED, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE SITUATION IN ILLINOIS.
Abstract: A REVIEW OF THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM OF THE NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING DEFENDANT NOTES THAT, ALTHOUGH THE INABILITY TO COPE IN ANY BUT THE MOST CURSORY WAY WITH THE DEMANDS OF THE DOMINANT CULTURE AFFECTS THE NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING PERSON IN A NUMBER OF AREAS, THE RISKS OF NONCOMPREHENSION ARE HIGHEST IN CONFRONTATIONS WITH THE LAW. A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF ILLINOIS STATUTES AND COURT DECISIONS REGARDING THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS RAISED BY FAILURE TO PROVIDE INTERPRETERS FOR NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING DEFENDANTS SUGGESTS THAT ILLINOIS IS BEHIND THE FEDERAL COURTS AND THE COURTS OF SOME OTHER STATES IN PROTECTING THE INTERESTS OF THESE DEFENDANTS. ALTHOUGH THE ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT RECOGNIZES THAT FAILURE TO PROVIDE AN INTERPRETER MIGHT VIOLATE A DEFENDANT'S RIGHTS TO A JURY TRIAL OR TO CONFRONTATION OF WITNESSES, THE COURT CONTINUES TO DEFER TO THE TRIAL COURT'S DISCRETION IN SUCH CASES, THUS DISCOURAGING APPEALS BASED ON THE MATTER OF LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION. IN COOK COUNTY, ILL., THE JUDICIAL PRACTICE OF CALLING UPON THE COURT'S FULL-TIME INTERPRETER WHEN THERE IS ANY INDICATION OF NEED IS DEVELOPING. HOWEVER, UNTIL THE COURT OR LEGISLATURE ESTABLISHES STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES WITH REGARD TO DETERMINING THE NEED FOR AN INTERPRETER AND ASSURING THE QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION, THE NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING DEFENDANT'S RIGHTS ARE NOT FULLY PROTECTED.
Index Term(s): Illinois; Interpreter Services; Right to confront witnesses; Right to fair trial; Rights of the accused; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43602

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