Friday, January 13, 2006

Lost in the translation: one man’s freedom

Unable to speak English, Juan Alfonzo stood before a judge in Daytona Beach and expected to receive probation for stealing a toolbox.

To his surprise, the judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, followed by 15 years probation, for stealing a dump truck valued at $125,000.

Now, after he has spent more than a year in jail, his guilty plea has been thrown out because his court-hired interpreter provided an incomprehensible translation.

How many other defendants received bad information in the nine years that the interpreter worked for the courts? Court officials are compiling a list of cases the translator handled.

Read the Daytona Beach News-Journal article here.

Thanks to Arbitrary and Capricious for the link.

For a look at the trials and tribulations of interpreting for Spanish-speaking defendants, check out The Court Interpreter blog.


At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Court Interpreter said...


Thanks for the link!

Court Interpreter

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