- speaking when the witness had said nothing;
- listening while the attorneys spoke but not interpreting for the witness;
- engaged in un-translated discussions with the witnesses;
- summarizing testimony rather than precisely translating.
"We conclude that the court did not err in refusing to strike the testimony of the victim in question based upon the alleged inaccuracies in the second interpreter's translation. Although defendant established that there were some errors in that translation, he failed to establish that he "was prejudiced by those errors" (People v Dat Pham, 283 AD2d 952, lv denied 96 NY2d 900; see People v Restivo, 226 AD2d 1106, 1107, lv denied 88 NY2d 883). In any event, the record establishes that any errors were corrected either through objections made by defense counsel that were sustained by the court, or through defense counsel's cross-examination of the victim using the third and fourth interpreters (see Restivo, 226 AD2d at 1107)."This case presents an interesting contrast to People v. Romeo, discussed below, wherein the court concluded that it was "highly likely" that the defendant was prejudiced by an extraordinary delay in proceeding to trial. It would seem to be exceedingly difficult for any attorney not fluent in Gujarati to explain exactly how a client was prejudiced by a poor interpretation. The Indignant Indigent believes that it is good practice for defense attorneys who find themselves in such a situation to insist on the record that it is impossible to know what sorts of prejudice have accrued to the defendant (in addition to arguing whatever prejudice can be gleaned from the poor interpretation).
Copy and paste this post here to have it translated into Gujarati.