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By Susan Berk-Seligson

The booklet offers a discourse research of police interrogations concerning U.S. Hispanic suspects accused of crimes. The learn is exclusive in that it concentrates on interrogations regarding suspects whose first language isn't really English and cops who've a rudimentary wisdom of Spanish. the amount examines the pitfalls of utilizing law enforcement officials as interpreters at custodial interrogations.

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Additional info for Coerced Confessions: The Discourse of Bilingual Police Interrogations (Language, Power and Social Process, Vol 25)

Example text

This indeterminacy stems from the fact that in any given case involving a person whose proficiency in the language of the courts is limited, a chain of interpreters will have been utilized, of the types just mentioned (Colin and Morris 1996). The review of appellate cases that follows gives us an inkling of what sorts of interpreters serve as links in that chain, particularly at the nexus where police work comes into play. Interpreters for the police: a review of appellate cases 23 3. Interpreters for the police: a review of appellate cases Using a Lexis-Nexis computerized search procedure, I examined appellate cases from 1965 to 1999 in California, Florida and New York.

Thus, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s findings. ” The opinion of the California Supreme Court was that the defendant “mischaracterized” the record as to Detective Parrott’s fluency in Spanish. She testified that she was fluent as to everyday matters and the Spanish spoken in the area defendant is from, but that her Spanish might be lacking when it came to an intellectual discussion. Defendant’s characterization of Detective Parrott as an interested party and improper interpreter is premised on authorities and standards relating to court interpreters at trial.

Julio Gonz´alez, who admitted to and was convicted for setting the fire, claimed that he had not been given his Miranda warnings (People v. Gonz´alez 1991). The Supreme Court of New York ruled, however, that there had been only minor discrepancies in translation when the police reiterated the defendant’s rights to him before he made his videotaped statement, and that these discrepancies were inconsequential. The appellate judges Interpreters for the police: a review of appellate cases 27 reasoned that although the detective interpreter had not “mouthed a ritualistic formula”, he had in fact “conveyed the substance of the Miranda rights” to the defendant (People v.

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