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Defendants With Limited English Proficiency Have A Constitutional Right To Court Interpreters, Says ACLU

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

June 7, 2010
ACLU Filed Friend-Of-The-Court Brief With Georgia Supreme Court

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ATLANTA – The Supreme Court of Georgia heard oral arguments today regarding the constitutional rights of criminal defendants with limited English proficiency (LEP) to court interpreters. The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Georgia and Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center (LAS–ELC) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case charging that denying LEP individuals interpreters during criminal trials violates the U.S. Constitution.

"We don't have two systems of justice in this country – one for English-speakers and another for everyone else," said Azadeh Shahshahani, Director of the National Security/Immigrants' Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia. "The constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection apply to everyone in this country, not just to fluent English speakers."


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