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U.S. v. ZARAFU

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


April 20, 2004.

United States of America, Plaintiff
v.
Cristian Zarafu, Defendant

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD GUZMAN, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant has filed an application for appointment of Romanian language interpreter. In support counsel both orally and in writing argues that until the hearing on the defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, he had been unaware of how difficult it would be to communicate with his client under the pressure of and given the time constraints of an adversarial proceeding. Apparently on the prior occasions counsel was able to fully communicate with his client by speaking slowly and deliberately regardless of the time it took to do so. However, during the evidentiary hearing his client's constant requests for clarification and explanation, some of which apparently the attorney links to the fact that English is his client's second language, distracted counsel from the questions, testimony, and his note taking.

We do not find any evidence to support the contention that the defendant had extreme difficulty understanding the questions asked by lawyers or the answers of the witnesses or statements made by the court at the hearing. Further, the defendant's difficulty was not of such a nature as to cause counsel to bring it to the court's attention during the course of the hearing or to ask for an interpreter at that time. From our observations we conclude that clearly the defendant was at times quite agitated by what he heard at the evidentiary hearing and must have understood most if not all of what was said. In addition, the credible testimony received during the hearing established that defendant was quite able communicate in English with law-enforcement officers. Nevertheless, in recognition of the fact that in times of stress communication may be difficult in any language, and in order to facilitate to the greatest extent possible the communication and cooperation between appointed counsel and the defendant, the court will grant the motion. A Romanian language interpreter is hereby appointed for defendant Zarafu.

20040420

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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