Language and the Law in Deaf Communities

Edited by Ceil Lucas

Series: Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Ebook : 9781563683176, 240 pages, October 2009
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Table of contents

Editorial Advisory Board, vi

Editor's Introduction, vii

The Language Problems of Minorities in the Legal Setting, I
Roger W. Shuy

Trampling Miranda: Interrogating Deaf Suspects, zi
Rob Hoopes

Court Interpreting for Signing Jurors: Just Transmitting
or Interpreting? 60
Susan Mather and Robert Mather

When "Equal" Means "Unequal"-And Other Legal Conundrums
for the Deaf Community, 82
Sarah S. Geer

Misunderstanding, Wrongful Convictions,
and Deaf People, i68
George Castelle

Contributors, 177

Index, I79



The ninth volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series focuses on forensic linguistics, a field created by noted linguist Roger Shuy, who begins the collection with an introduction of the issue of language problems experienced by minorities in legal settings. Attorney and linguist Rob Hoopes follows by showing how deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) are at a distinct disadvantage in legal situations, such as police interrogations, where only the feeblest of efforts are made to ensure that deaf suspects understand their constitutional rights.

Susan Mather, an associate professor of linguistics and interpretation, and Robert Mather, a federal disability rights attorney, examine the use of interpreters for deaf jurors during trials. They reveal the courts' gross misunderstandings of the important differences between ASL and Signed English. Sara S. Geer, an attorney at the National Association of the Deaf for 20 years, explains how the difficulty in understanding legal terminology in federal law is compounded for deaf people in every ordinary act, including applying for credit cards and filling out medical consent forms.

Language and the Law in Deaf Communities concludes with a chapter by George Castelle, Chief Public Defender in Charleston, West Virginia. Although he has no special knowledge about the legal problems of deaf people, Castelle offers another perspective based upon his extensive experience in practicing and teaching law.

Ceil Lucas is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Interpretation at Gallaudet University.

ISBN 1-56368-143-9, 6 x 9 casebound, 200 pages, tables, references, index