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Mentorship 2010 editied

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  • 1. The Importance of Court Interpreters By: Leah Ostrander
  • 2. What is a court interpreter? The title of a court interpreter is a competitive class position that is responsible for interpreting between English and other languages in the courtroom. Court interpreters also assist non-English speaking people in the filling out of forms and preparing complaints. Also, they perform some clerical tasks and answer routine inquiries from the public.
  • 3. Responsibilities of a Court Interpreter *Knowledge of modes of court interpreting *Accuracy during interpretation *Impartiality in the courtroom *Confidentiality throughout the courtroom
  • 4. Types of Courtroom Interpreting Simultaneous Mode: this requires that the interpreter speaks concurrent with the speaker whose statements are being interpreted. Consecutive Mode: this requires that the interpreter allow the speaker to complete a statement or thought before giving his/her interpretation. Sight Translation: this is the real time oral translation of a written document, without preparation.
  • 5. Accuracy During Interpretation Court interpreters should faithfully and accurately interpret what is said without elaboration or exclusion. Court interpreters should also provide the most accurate interpretation of a word despite a possible vulgar meaning. An interpreter is not to tone down, improve, or edit any words or statements.
  • 6. Impartiality in the Courtroom Court interpreters should maintain an impartial view at all times and avoid unnecessary contact or discussions with counsel, witnesses, or interested parties. Court interpreters should also not give legal advice.
  • 7. Confidentiality Throughout the Courtroom Court interpreters should not reveal any information considered confidential by the court. This includes disclosures made outside of the court by non-English speaking or hearing-impaired persons.
  • 8. Commonly Spoken Languages within the Legal System New York State courts offer the Arabic services of interpreters in over 100 languages, such as: Mandarin Spanish Portuguese French Korean Cantonese Haitian Creole Russia Sign Language
  • 9. Why We Need Interpreters Recently in the city of Newburgh, detectives did not use an interpreter when they interviewed a 13-year-old accused of murder. That mistake cost prosecutors crucial statements and evidence with the potential to change the case’s outcome.
  • 10. A 13-year-old was held responsible for fatally stabbing a 17-year-old boy in a brawl, in January of 2010. Detectives questioned the 13-year-old twice after the killing, and eventually arrested him. The young boy’s mother was present during both interviews, as required by Family Court law. She doesn’t speak English, so one of the detectives who was bilingual, read her the Miranda rights in Spanish. The detective then questioned the boy, who speaks English, in English. His Miranda rights were also read to him in English.
  • 11. The defense attorney argued that the mother’s language barrier prevented her from helping her son have a clear understanding of what police were asking and the consequences of answering without proper counsel. The Family Court Judge agreed with the defense attorney’s motion to suppress the boy’s testimony. Although this presented another problem, it was during that testimony that the boy told detectives where he tossed a kitchen knife after the stabbing. Since the recovery of the knife stemmed from prohibited statements, the judge ruled that prosecutors wouldn’t be able to use the knife as evidence.
  • 12. Prosecutors will still be able to use identifications made by two other people who claimed to see the stabbing. Each picked the boy out of a photo array as the killer. In the end, the boy was charged with second-degree murder.
  • 13. What If... If an interpreter had been present during all of the boy’s interviews the outcome of the case could have been very different. With an interpreter’s help, the mother would have been able to aide her son in the interviews in many ways that she was incapable of because she didn’t speak English. Even if all of your rights are read to you in your native language, you still may not understand specific terminology, especially because most country’s legal systems are different.
  • 14. Court interpreters serve a fundamental role in justice proceedings by ensuring that non-English speaking people receive a fair trial in the judicial system.
  • 15. Valise Caso chiuso fermée Caso fechado Geslothen geval Case closed Caso cerrado Fall geschlossen