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- Mar 2000
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Jury Duty and Non-English Speakers
- October 4th, 2010 @ 07:28 PM
- 3 replies
- 3,118 views
4. Inability to read, speak and understand the English language. I speak: _________. (You must personally sign the affidavit or personally appear before the summons date.)
I personally think it's ridiculous that we've essentially created two groups of citizens. Those who learn the language and are therefore required to perform jury duty, and those who don't learn it and are therefore not eligible.
It's America. If a civil duty requires you to know English, then as far as I'm concerned we shouldn't be solving this issue by making certain people exempt from said civil duty, instead we should require that ALL immigrants do what they can to be eligible for their civil duties before they are allowed to become citizens.
Maybe it's different in the US than in Germany, because the US are traditionally a country based on immigration. But still I think many problems regarding immigrants stem from a lack of language skills, at least in Germany. Those immigrants who don't speak German have fewer chances to be accepted on the labor market, and finding native friends and colleagues is more difficult, if not impossible. The result is unemployment, often the tendency for crime, lower social status and the tendency of some immigrants to "stick to themselves" or to cling to traditional, rather backwards values that makes fitting in even more difficult.
So I think efforts should be taken to make immigrants learn the common language. There should be according offers, like language classes for immigrants. And immigrants should also be encouraged to learn the common language.
And I agree, just excepting people from civic duties because of lacking language skills is not a good thing. Other solutions should be found.
Here's another question I have now that I think about it.. what happens if somebody who speaks another language goes to court? All these English speaking jury members are no good then unless they have a translator. At the very least people who speak another language should be selected for jury duty in trials where foreign languages will be spoken.
But seriously, this entire problem can be solved by just having a language test of some sort before granting citizenship in the first place.
|duty , jury , nonenglish , speakers|
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