Deaf man assigned as a lay judge in Gumma Prefecture

January 31, 2012

A Deaf man was assigned to a lay judge at the lay judge trial of the robbery and bodily-injury case which started in the Maebashi District Court of Gumma Prefecture on January 30.

The court arranged four sign language interpreters. Both the public prosecutor and the lawyer representing the defendant also questioned the witness slowly during the examination of witness, and put the technical term in another way as intelligible language.

The Deaf lay judge gazed at the interpreter, bowed his head in assent occasionally, took the memo, seemingly understanding the crime situation, etc.

The counsel for the defense was reported to say that he was told by the court staff about one week before that a lay judge candidate might be Deaf. He has prepared himself by discussing how to advance the trial with the court staff, such as a position where an interpreter sits down, supposing the Deaf person were assigned.

When the public prosecutor made the witness explain the crime situation by the large-sized monitor in the court, he asked a question, taking care of the interpreter's progress condition. The judge sitting down next to the Deaf lay judge also assisted him by pointing at the small monitor following the pace of  interpreting.

Japanese source:

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