CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chao on Interpreters

David H. Chao has posted Bifurcated Review of Interpreter Determinations Under the Court Interpreters Act (Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1, Fall-Winter 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Since the passage of the Court Interpreters Act in 1978, defendants have had a statutory right to a language interpreter when the district court determines that the defendant’s language barrier inhibits his comprehension. When defendants have appealed their convictions, claiming that the court erroneously denied them an interpreter, courts of appeals review the lower court determinations for clear error or abuse of discretion. This Article argues that this deferential standard is not proper for reviewing interpreter determinations under the Act, which are mixed questions of law and fact. Instead, appellate courts should review findings of fact for clear error and legal conclusions de novo.

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