Deaf lay judge interviewed after the trial

Tomaru Takayuki responds by sign language at the press conference.

February 4, 2012

Judgment was given to the defendant (24) on February 3 by the lay judge trial in the Maebashi District Court in which TOMARU Takayuki (40) participated for the first time as a Deaf lay judge.

After the trial, Takayuki said with a relieved expression through the interpreter at a press conference, "I feel good that I kept doing to the last."

He became Deaf when he was 3 years old because of sickness, and attended the school for the Deaf.

Takayuki received an e-mail from the family during work last year, and knew having been chosen as the lay judge candidate. He considered declining it shortly because of being Deaf. However, his father encouraged him to accept it, which he did.

With the four interpreters, trial and discussion progressed smoothly. Other two male lay judges at the interview also agreed saying, "Almost everything went well with us."

There was also presiding Judge Takayama's consideration. By an examination of witness, he did not overlook the puzzled expression which the interpreter showed, and then urged the witness who spoke in low voice, "Bring a microphone close to the mouth."

There were a few issues as pointed out by Takayuki. For example, since a lay judge's seat is located higher than where the interpreter sat down, he was unable see the sign language interpreted.

Moreover, when Takayuki made a note looking away from the interpreter, he missed what has been said. He indicated, "There should just have been those who make a memo, supporting me to focus on interpreting."

According to the sign language interpreters, they were advancing preparation by hearing of a trial, a mock interpreting in court, the study of the trial term, etc. since 2009 when the jury system was introduced. 

Japanese original article:

Related link:
First Deaf man assigned as a lay judge in Gumma Prefecture


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