This is an interesting story even if it wasn’t about a Somali rape trial that must be repeated at enormous cost to the King County taxpayers. It seems that if jurors do ‘googling’ related to the case, the case must be retried.
But, it’s the cost to “welcoming” communities of refugee crime cases that draws our attention and one of those costs is for translation services. Wake up Wyoming (will it be Casper or Gillettte?), or all of this ‘diversity’ is going to be yours someday!
King County had to pay interpreters fees to the tune of $20,000 for the first trial!
From The Seattle Times (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):
Last week, in King County Superior Court, a jury foreman sat before a judge, hands clasped, and tried to explain. He had violated her orders not to do any research on the case. She wanted to know why.
Now his Web surfing, brief as it was, threatened to undo everything. His research had taken him beyond what had been presented in court: Jurors get instructed on what constitutes a crime, not on the potential sentence. So Roberts had to decide whether to order a new trial. If she did, that would mean five weeks wasted — not just her time, but that of the lawyers, the bailiff, the court reporter, the members of the jury.
Five weeks is how long the trial had lasted for 26-year-old Abdulkadir Gargar, convicted in November of first-degree rape and attempted unlawful imprisonment. Prosecutors say that in May 2012, Gargar assaulted a 23-year-old woman in a Tukwila motel.
A new trial would mean the woman would have to testify again about being threatened, choked and bitten. A new trial would mean money wasted. Gargar speaks Somali. During the trial, the court spent more than $20,000 on interpreters alone.
On Monday, as the judge prepared to rule, the woman’s parents sat in the courtroom, waiting.
The judge ordered a new trial.
And, of course the poor victim will have to testify all over again, read it all.
If it weren’t for this legal crisis involving a juror this is one more refugee crime case that would never have made it into the mainstream media, and yet, unless you help spread the word, it won’t make it out of Washington State!
Just for fun, check the top ten languages (and innumerable minor ones!) your welcoming community must be prepared to provide interpreters for, not just for criminal cases, but for medical care, education, and other legal matters. It is federal law.