Judges order jurors with poor English to take language lessons, defense attorneys pounce

Ah, the set backs of being an open border country.

Judges in the sanctuary city of New York are finding themselves more and more dealing with potential jurors who have limited English skills, according to the New York Daily News.

…and their solution may prove to be beneficial to skillful defense attorneys.

Some judges resorted to making false threats to the English-challenged jury pool participants —

More from the Daily News:

At least four Queens judges have made empty threats to potential jurors with limited English skills, telling them they have to take language lessons or return to court to prove their proficiency, an investigation by the Daily News has found.

The court-ordered classes don’t exist and the jurors didn’t actually have to return to the courthouse.


The four Queens justices include Joel Blumenfeld, Ira Margulis, Kenneth Holder and John Latella.

“If you have not understood some of what I have said because of language difficulties, you will be excused from this trial and if you’re excused because of language difficulties, you will not get paid for today’s jury service and you may very well have to take a course in English,” Judge Margulis told the jury pool in one trial, according to the newspaper.

Quick to take advantage of the judges’ actions are defense attorneys who claim it tainted the jury.

Arguing that the threats resulted in unjust verdicts, the Daily News reported on six appeals and noted that there were at least 10 other cases where a judge repeated the bogus message.

Cases involving burglary, second-degree murder and other serious criminal charges.

Tom Tillison


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