A breath of fresh air
By Marty Carlson
May 3, 2016
I apologize for the late post today but this has been a long haul is starting to take a toll on a lot of people especially the attorneys and the people that are in custody on this case.
The afternoon session started with some actual respectful courtroom decorum which is nice to see after the joke we just recently saw in the American justice system in particular the most recent witness.
Mme. Dist. Atty. had brought to the stand one of the employees of the District Attorney’s Office whose job is to be a victim advocate. She was being put on the stand to Voir Dire her qualifications as she was use a translate recorded and live phone calls that were in Punjabi. She stated that she was qualified by somebody in the DA’s office who did an evaluation on her skills when she first came to work there. Her main function is a victims Advocate but is used for translations at times in the courtroom and by deputy DA’s.
She stated she had taken a class at the Atty. Gen.’s office, which initially many people thought she was talking about translating, but later on discovered she was talking about a class for wiretaps. She stated that the class was taught by Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris herself. She did state also that she has never been certified as a translator or interpreter for court, nor been ever been certified as an expert in a court proceeding.
Basically she was saying her qualifications were that she was born in India spoke strictly Panjabi for the first seven or eight years of her life, then moved to the United States and began learning English as a second language. She also stated that she is constantly speaking to her friends and family on a regular basis. I must also note you that her English for not being her original language was very good.
Jesse Garcia asked her if she had ever attempted to test, or were prepared to test, to be state certified in translations, which she said no. She also stated that she had never been to any seminars or conferences, nor belong to any official organizations relating to translations. She also stated she was not familiar with any type of code sections that are requirements for translators.
Percy Martinez began to ask how many different dialects there were in the Punjabi language, she stated she wasn’t completely sure but was aware of four but also stated there was probably more that she was not aware of. She stated that there were two in particular dialects that she had spoken the most with her family, those being Malawi and Urdu.
Baljit’ s atty Hans (sorry I cannot pronounce the last name) asked her if she had translated the wiretaps word for word, and she was having a hard time understanding what he was asking her. He also began asking her what certain grammar definition were and again she was having trouble following the line of questioning and so was I. She stated that she had never translated live conversations before, but did in this case a few times.
Martha Magana began asking questions which led to some objections by Mme. DA and a long discussion with the judge and all attorneys. The judge is finally asked Mme. DA a direct question to try to get an answer and she began one of her narratives, and I noticed the judge get that look on her face, investigator bunch then walked over to where and whispered what appeared to be yes or no and she finally said yes and left it at that.
Ms. Magana started asking about what her job title was which was a victims Advocate and she stated she has this many people as an advocate no matter what their languages. She did say that she is constantly called in to translate Punjabi for some of the deputy DA’s. She stated that she had listened to some live conversations on the wiretaps which she translated, in addition she had translated some recordings. The wiretaps were of both Atwal brothers. She was also asked if any of her translations were reviewed were check for mistakes by anyone else and she stated no. In addition, she also stated that she had received no further education in the Punjabi language since the first grade.
Martha Magana began asking about if she had ever been employed are paid as strictly an interpreter or translator which she had not. She was asked if there are some changes are differences in the language that men use that women do not and she did say sometimes.
The judge began asking a few questions to find out if she ever been called to any court to be used as a translator which she said no but had been called by deputy DAs to be used.
Robert Forkner argued that her translations are biased because there is done by an employee of the District Attorney’s Office, and in addition is also not certified by any official agency or entity.
As far as reports go today they are very short brief I realize that all the in camera hearings lately have led to the public being out of the courtroom a large amount of time the last few court days. There was some talk about going back to five days per week but apparently that is been decided against and they will stay on a four-day work week mostly for Jesse Garcia to receive his rehabilitation. It’s probably a good idea anyway as to the intensity of this case and I personally believe that many attorneys including the judge are starting to wear down pretty dramatically the probably is an extra day a week rest. So court will be down this far as her preliminary hearing is concerned on Fridays that there will be some motions heard this Friday, and I believe there are several different ones to be heard.
Court is continued until 930 tomorrow morning where we are supposed to have investigator Steve Jacobson discussing some of the phone taps and wiretaps.
There was also revealed today that Michael Cooley is not going to testify in this preliminary hearing now, and in addition Robert Woody is not going to testify in this preliminary hearing.
The planned end date of this preliminary hearing is now May 20 but we have seen many planned end dates come and go in this hearing so hopefully will be soon and we can move forward and instead of sideways in this case.