PAEDITORIAL, LETTERS, page 20
News Currents, May 30, tells about the Supreme Court's decision to allow prosecutors to exclude Hispanics and bilingual persons from juries in criminal cases, on the assumption that bilingual jurors might not trust English translations of testimony given in Spanish.Obviously, people of other nationalities will be the most affected by the court's new ruling. Nonetheless, any defendant, regardless of nationality, who faces witnesses of other nationalities testifying against him or her in their natives languages can be affected by this ruling too. Plenty of honest mistakes can be, and are, made by court interpreters. Wouldn't it be a gross injustice if a defendant were found guilty based on a distorted or inaccurate translation of somebody's testimony - especially when such a mistake could have been easily avoided by the presence of a bilingual juror or a wholly bilingual jury? A wholly bilingual jury would contribute to finding out the truth instead of taking from it. A court really concerned with revealing the truth and meting out justice should not oppose such factors. Therefore, I feel this ruling is a disgrace, for it does justice no justice at all. Vicente Fournier, Crescent City, Calif.
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