07 Oct What Would You Have Done? By Editor
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The interpreter has been interpreting in a lengthy jury trial. The jury is well into their deliberations. They come into the courtroom for the judge to answer a question. The judge gives them instructions and sends them back to the jury room. As the first jurors enter the jury room, while the door into the courtroom is still open, the interpreter hears one of them make a comment to another (relevant to the matter, not small talk). It appears that the Court and counsel did not hear the comment, although they are closer to the jurors than the interpreter is.
Here is the conflict: To interpret or not interpret for the LEP individual? And does it matter what the comment was?
1- Interpret, after all you are there to interpret all that is said and heard by you.
2- If neither the judge or the attorney bother to ask “What did you say?”, just ignore it.
3- Use my own judgment: if I don’t think it matters, ignore it.
4- Use my own judgment: if I think it matters, interpret it.