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U.S.C. $ 605), which provided that no person not authorized by the sender shall intercept a communication and divulge or publish the existence or contents thereof to any person.
Similarly, in Bridges v. Nixon, 326 u.s. 135 (1945), the Supreme Court held invalid a deportation order based upon statements which did not comply with the rules of the Immigration and Naturalization Service requiring signatures and oaths. The court found that the rules were designed "to afford (the alien) due process of law" by providing "safeguards against essentially unfair procedures." Id. at 152-158.
The judicial precedents which led to the enactment
of the Court Interpreters Act unequivocally and firmly
established a defendant's right to an interpreter when needed
to enable him to understand the proceedings.
especially so where the translation itself forms the basis of a
perjury indictment. In those circumstances, we submit, the Government is under a nost rigorous duty to ensure that not only the translation but also the interpreter, is of the highest caliber. Without such heightened standards, any
perjury conviction is inherently suspect, and, as Kamiyama's
motion papers reveal, can lead to a grave miscarriage of justice.
Indeed, how can a foreign-language -speak ing defendant's right to understand the bases of the proceedings against him be protected if the Government fails to provide the means to comprehend what is being asked of him? This is essentially the question which the Senate asked itself when it passed the Act. S. Rep. No. 95-569, supra, at 3. See, e.ga Cannis; see generally, Point III, supra. Similarly, a defendant's right to effective counsel, as established by Gideon v. Wainright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963) and Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932), is meaningless to an English-handicapped de fendant since without a complete and accurate interpretation of the proceedings for the defendant and interpreted
communication between client and attorney, counsel is rendered incompetent or ineffective. See, e.g., Negron: Vasquez; see generally, Point III, supra.
As with the right of confrontation and the right to effective counsel, it is clear that the right to an interpreter is of no use to a non-English-speaking defendant 1€ such right is not construed to entitle him to an effective, competent interpreter. Thus, it has been held that it was reversible error to conduct a trial where the Spanish interpreters were unable to effectively interpret for the defendant who was a West Indian. Kelly v. State, 96 Fla. 348, 118 so. 501 (1928).
Similarly, in State v. Des lovers, 40 R.I. 89, 100 A. 64 (1917), the defendant's conviction was reversed where the record showed that the court-appointed interpreter was incompetent and unable to discharge his duties. The court held that failure to remove this interpreter and appoint a competent one was prejudicial to the accused, and denied him a fair and impartial trial to which he was entitled under the law. See also, People v. Starling, 21 Ill. App. 38 217, 315 N.E.2d 163 (1974) (quality of interpretation may determine whether defendant understood testimony against him to satisfy constitutional requirement); Hudson v. Augustine's, Inc., 72 111. App.28 225, 218 N.E.28 510 (1966) (interpreter who was not formally trained to interpret for the deaf did not satisfy statutory requirement of competency).
In the setting of a criminal proceeding, the denial of due process has been defined as:
... the failure to observe that fundamental
Lisenba v. California, 314 U.S. 219, 236 (1941); see Donelly v. DeChristoforo, 416 U.S. 637, 643 (1974); Ham v. South Carolina, 409 u.s. 524, 526-27 (1973), cited in A. Cronhein & A.
Schwartz, "Non-English-Speaking Persons in the Criminal Justice System: Current State of the Law", 61 Cornell L. Rev. 289, 296 (1976).
By imposing a stringent certification program on interpreters, Congress purposely raised the standard of competency which is deemed constitutionally acceptable in our
federal courts. Such standard cannot be lowered on the convenient pretext that there are no "reasonably available"
certified interpreters in this case, since the Government has not yet established a procedure to certify Japanese-language interpreters. See s. Rep. No. 95–569 at 12 (in that situation, the responsibility falls upon the presiding judicial officer to insure the competency of the uncertified interpreter). To the contrary, the fact that there is no Federal Certification Examination for the Japanese language tends to support the argument that there exist "otherwise" competent Japanese interpreters who have not yet been able to attain certification because of the Government's failure to implement the necessary and statutor ily-required program. The Government, in appointing Mochizuki, blatantly disregarded Congress' intent as evidenced by the requirements of the Act. The Government's failure to comply with the Act deprived Kamiyama of his fundamental right to a fair trial and denied him the due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
Given the unique character of this case in which the
Government, for the first time, sought and obtained a perjury conviction on the basis of the translated version of a Japanese individual's testimony, the Government should be held to the strict standards imposed by the Court Interpreters Act and the judicial precedents relating to the constitutional right to a . competent interpreter. To do otherwise would result in a grave miscarriage of justice and the abridgement of Mr. Kaniyama's fundamental right to due process as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
TESTIMONY OF RICHARD GRAVELEY
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION
It is an honor to submit testimony to this distinguished committee regarding "Government Intervention into Religious Affairs."
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) which I represent, was established in 1966 by His Divine Grace A. c. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. He hails from an orthodox line of Hindu Vaishnavism dating back approximately 5000 years to the appearance of Lord Krishna. The practices and beliefs of this ancient and monotheistic religion embody tenets of Sanskrit scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Prabhupada's English renderings of these texts have brought new meaning and purpose in life to thousands of Westerners. These books, now translated in over 30 languages, form the basis of what is popularly known as the "Hare Krishna Movement."
ISKCON has sixty-five temples and farm communities in America and nearly two-hundred missionary centers in seventy countries worldwide. In the last decade alone, ISKCON Food Relief distributed some fifty million plates of free food to needy people worldwide. In America, ISKCON assists the needy with eighteen free food distribution and temporary housing centers.
Leading international theologists, philosophers and indologists praise ISKCON'S sound scriptural foundation and its humanitarian effort. Yet some label ISKCON a destructive cult. Consequently, ISKCON members sometimes suffer vicious phenomena