9th Circuit Says Miranda Warning Must Be Given In Correct Spanish

By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times July 15, 2013, 3:21 p.m.

A Miranda warning given in both English and Spanish to a Spanish-speaking suspect is insufficient if a police officer’s translation fails to convey the true meaning of the arrested person’s rights, a federal appeals court decided Monday.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a drug and gun conviction on the grounds that a district judge erred by admitting comments made by the suspect after he was given the Miranda warning in English and poor Spanish.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said that the warning “failed to reasonably convey the government’s obligation to appoint an attorney for an indigent suspect who wishes to consult one.”

The detective used the Spanish word “libre” to mean without cost. But expert witnesses said that was an incorrect translation. “Libre” instead means free as “in being available or at liberty to do something,” the court said.

The ruling overturned the conviction of Jeronimo Botello-Rosales for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and possession of a firearm by a person unlawfully in the United States. Botello-Rosales had entered a conditional guilty plea but reserved the right to withdraw it pending the results of his appeal.

The ruling stemmed from a Portland case applies to police in California and other western states.

Sitting on the 9th Circuit panel that reached the decision were Judges Harry Pregerson, appointed by President Carter; Kim McLane Wardlaw, a Bill Clinton appointee; and Milan D. Smith, Jr., appointed by former President George W. Bush.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

The Latest Threat to Independents

AIJIC has learned through its lobbyist, Mandy Lee from Omni Government Relations, that language has been introduced in the budget trailer bill seeking to lower the maximum number of days that the Cali

The PRO Act and Its Chances in the U.S. Senate

After our long and costly battle against AB5 last year and after succeeding in our efforts to get an exemption with the passage of AB2257, independent contractors are once again facing a legislative t

AB 2257 approved

This afternoon, AB 2257, a cleanup bill for AB5, was approved by the Senate 39-0. Thanks to lobbying by AIJIC and other interpreting organizations, freelance interpreters will be allowed to continue w