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Should Deaf People Serve On A Jury?
 
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# 1 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:13
 
 
In some other countries deaf people are not excused from their duties service as a member of a jury. Interpreters and other means of providing language access mean that they can serve their country.

In Ireland, The long-awaited decision in the case of Deaf woman Joan Clarke case was 
given in the High Court on 14th July last. The case, taken by Free Legal
 Advice Centre (FLAC), was heard in the High Court over two years ago. Ms.
 Clarke, who is Deaf, had been summonsed for jury service, and wanted to undertake this civic duty as an Irish citizen. She requested a reasonable
 accommodation in the form of a sign language interpreter in order to do so. 
However, she was excused from jury service because of her deafness.
Ms. Clarke won part of her case in the High Court, when the court ruled that a County Registrar was not entitled to exclude Ms. Clarke from 
jury service. However, the judgment does not clear the way for deaf people
 to serve on a jury.

The judge, Mr Justice O'Keefe said the presence of a sign 
language interpreter in a jury room would breach confidentiality, which is
 an integral part of trial by jury. 

Very little has changed as a result of this decision, as it stated that Sign 
Language interpreters could not be present for jury deliberations.
 Therefore, Deaf people will continue to be excluded from jury service.
Michael Farrell, a solicitor with FLAC, said the decision made “an important
dent” in the ban on deaf jurors which was “offensive and hurtful” to deaf
 people and had “no place in a modern and inclusive society”. He also said 
“It was unfortunate the judge did not go on to accept that sign language
interpreters could be used in a jury room without interfering with the jury,” he said.



SOURCE: http://www.flac.ie/download/pdf/2010_07_14_clarke_case_briefing_d etc ...

Some people say that Deaf people shouldn't be allowed to serve on a Jury because they might have literacy difficulties or cant rely on the quality of interpreters. What do you think of this?

If your case was dependent on the jury, would you have any objections to having a Deaf person as a juror?

It would be interesting to see what the general consensus is out there.

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# 2 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:17
 
 
How would having a sign 
language interpreter in the jury room breach confidentiality?
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# 3 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:18
 
 
That is the argument put forward by the Deaf community, but the judge is adamant on that, as it would mean the bringing in of a 13th person in the Jury deliberation room, and this, by itself, according to the judge, was the deal-breaker.
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# 4 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:20
 
 
Someone said :
That is the argument put forward by the Deaf community, but the judge is adamant on that, as it would mean the bringing in of a 13th person in the Jury deliberation room, and this, by itself, according to the judge, was the deal-breaker.

I don't see any reason why it would make a difference :scracth:
And if there was an interpreter then I don't see why deaf people would not be allowed on a jury.
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# 5 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:20
 
 
I don't think they should be allowed serve for the reasons given above. It is a breach in confidentiality and the interpreter could influence the jury decision.

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# 6 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:25
 
 
Someone said :
How would having a sign 
language interpreter in the jury room breach confidentiality?

I was wondering the same thing... surely one could be sworn in and would be as accountable as anyone else who was present re confidentiality.

I think all our citizens should be entitled to serve on the jury.......... personally I would rather give it a miss... having said that, I'd probably be throwing a strop if I was told I couldnt do it.
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# 7 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:30
 
 
Someone said :
I don't think they should be allowed serve for the reasons given above. It is a breach in confidentiality and the interpreter could influence the jury decision.

i agree they shouldn't serve normally but maybe they should be allowed to serve in cases where an interpreter is already present i.e defendant is also deaf
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# 8 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:34
 
 
I would go further and say if this argument is of the case, that both plaintiff and defendant are deaf, then the whole jury must be deaf too.
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# 9 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:36
 
 
The issue is not about the interpreter being in the courtroom. The issue is about the interpreter being in the jury deliberation room. Where the jury decides on the case.

It is just the 12 in the room. To have another person in the room would bring a 13th person, and break the 12 person rule.

I am with Sky and the others who say that interpreters who are sworn in should respect the code of ethics and confidentiality.
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# 10 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:37
 
 
Someone said :
i agree they shouldn't serve normally but maybe they should be allowed to serve in cases where an interpreter is already present i.e defendant is also deaf

The problem is for the deliberation room, not for the trial room.
Only 12 people are allowed to take part.

An interpreter does not simply translate: they interpret. They add their own understanding, they exemplify.

If there is a recording, they interpret the voice quality and feelings.
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# 11 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:37
 
 
Someone said :
i agree they shouldn't serve normally but maybe they should be allowed to serve in cases where an interpreter is already present i.e defendant is also deaf

I don't see why you can't make special circumstances for different cases.

Personally I served in a Jury years ago but there is no way I should be allowed to now because of my deteriorated hearing,,Yippee to that as it is the most mind numbing thing I ever did.

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# 12 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:38
 
 
WHAT?
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# 13 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:38
 
 
Someone said :
I would go further and say if this argument is of the case, that both plaintiff and defendant are deaf, then the whole jury must be deaf too.

Could that influence the decision?? A fellow deaf person etc..
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# 14 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:39
 
 
Someone said :
Could that influence the decision?? A fellow deaf person etc..

No more than a woman would be influenced by a female defendant...
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# 15 : Wednesday 29-9-2010 @ 18:40
 
 
Someone said :
I would go further and say if this argument is of the case, that both plaintiff and defendant are deaf, then the whole jury must be deaf too.

But none of the plaintiff or defendant or in the deliberation room...
Reply
 
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