Kara Hyland (AZ Bar 032458) [email protected]
620 W. Jackson St., Suite 4015
Phoenix, AZ 85003
I support this rule amendment.
When I was a student, I observed a trial where the defendant was a Spanish speaker using an interpreter. During his first trial, the interpreter misinterpreted something the defendant said while testifying, in addition to some other nuances in conversation. The mistakes were caught and corrected by the Spanish-speaking lead defense counsel. The jury hung. When speaking to counsel after the trial, one of the jury members commented that she also caught the interpretation mistakes and was glad they were corrected because it would have changed the meaning of the testimony.
During the retrial, the prosecution fought to keep those of Latinx origin off of the jury. A Batson challenge was mounted, but ultimately defeated and all Latinx members of the jury pool were excluded from the jury. Under the new rule, the Baton challenge likely would have succeeded.