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Child Rapist Goes Free Because Court Can't Find Interpreter

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posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:11 PM
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I do not have to tell the childs father that, the judge did it. You guys are telling us that the man is GUILTY before a trial!! That is astounding!!
Where in American History did you read about THAT system?
The severity of the crime has NOTHING to do with guilt or innocence. you guys should never be allowed on a jury, God forbid.

Just the accusation is enough to set off your base instincts and the blood lust. If any child of mine ever told me that they had a horrid experience, I would NOT want the accused getting a kangaroo trial, no way..I would want to KNOW that ther right guy was accused and caught. Just getting a warm body thrown in jail would not satisfy me.

Why don't you just say what you really mean? You mean this: If a person is charged with a terrible crime, a heinous crime, then forget the rules, forget due process, just get the conviction and then ' justice ' will be done, right? Too bad it is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. theis is not East Germany under the Stasi, at least not yet. We still get a fair trial.

You guys who do not respect due process, what about YOU? Can you not imagine being falsely charged? it happens all the time. If it was YOU, you would be screaming for a fair trial, and for your rights to be observed, and you would have every right to. But let it be some other guy, some AFRICAN guy, and the rules can just get put on the shelf, right? Is THAT what you are saying? YES IT IS>

Even if you will not verbalize it here, you are saying that due process means nothing if a crime is terrible. And that is nonsense and not the right way. you cannot defend such a view logically, lawfully, historically or intellectually, so you scream about all the things that do not chnage the facts one iota: The man is innocent until proven guilty. No trial, no guilt.

This is the only way to insure justice, and I KNOW it hurts. I KNOW it seems unfair. I KNOW it makes the blood boil; but calmer heads have to formulate policy as emotions often lead the the lowest common denominator as a way to assuage rage and indignity at the inevitable results of a system that affords protections to all. TO ALL. TO ALL. Get it? Not just the guys accused of minor crimes, ALL. Your solutiion demeans us and makes us less than just, less than fair. You would be a lynch mob in another era, online you just express frustration at the system, and that is not to be unexpected.

Just do not throw away the Constitution to get revenge. That is what you want, revenge. Justice demands due process, revenge demands only a victim and a crowd with their mind made up and no need for a trial. Put your ropes away, and get your pocket Constitution out ( I just KNOW you have one handy) and read about all the protections that are there for YOU, and for the guy next door, and the guy in this case as well.

As soon as you make one human being ' lesser than deserving ' of due process, you have undercut the system and made us no better than any other dictatorship without fair trials and shown total disrespect for the Constitution. I don't hear you mention the Constitution or the law, just revenge. you never speak of evidence, real evidence, evidence that has been challenged and admitted by a court as such..THAT is evidence, NOT the allegations of the party that is adversarial to begin with!!

You lose the legal argument soundly, you cannot justify denying Constitutional rights to anyone, but you do illustrate very well how little it takes to make some people forget their basics, thei roots, their laws, their Constitution, and resort to raw emotiuon and vengeful admonitions of hjail without cause and dismissal of rights. you only appeal to those who have anger as the basis for policy and not justice for all. you see the little picture and I se the big one. Someday, when you calm down, maybe you too will see the wisdom in preserving THIS guy's rights for the day when WE might need them. Make sense? It should.




posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:18 PM
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eyewitness, come down off of that soapbox, the air must be thin up there. Where did I say I didn't want a trial, I DO. What's being done here has answered NO questions as to his guilt or innocence. Why, a technicality. I'd say his lawyers earned every penny. The article said they couldn't prosecute because he couldn't understand what he was about to go through, that's BS. Put him on trial, let's see that DNA evidence and hear from those witnesses. If he's innocent, FINE but let JUSTICE take its course.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
eyewitness, come down off of that soapbox, the air must be thin up there. Where did I say I didn't want a trial, I DO. What's being done here has answered NO questions as to his guilt or innocence. Why, a technicality. I'd say his lawyers earned every penny. The article said they couldn't prosecute because he couldn't understand what he was about to go through, that's BS. Put him on trial, let's see that DNA evidence and hear from those witnesses. If he's innocent, FINE but let JUSTICE take its course.


WELL SAID and RIGHT ON POINT



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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don't know why but it seems like this kind of crimes are not being punished anymore and it's obvious that this will increase these events.

but maybe i am saying that because of the catholic's church action ( 600 million $ paid to 500 victims)
if everyone with this kind of things in mind ,sees on tv that priests do these kind of things and get away with it, it will just encourage them

i remember a case , where a foreign citizen ( don't really remember his citizenship , got off the prison after about 2 or 3 years for writing a book while he was inprisoned . So that means by our laws ( romanian laws) a big sentence cut
another case : a guy from my country was caught on an airport in Columbia with a couplke of kilos of coc aine and he was let free because they couldn't find an interpret. ( if you ask me that was just bullsh*t , 80% of women her with age beetween 15 and 50 understand and talk spanish , due to the fact that soup operas in spanish language are very popular with them)



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
eyewitness, come down off of that soapbox, the air must be thin up there. Where did I say I didn't want a trial, I DO. What's being done here has answered NO questions as to his guilt or innocence. Why, a technicality. I'd say his lawyers earned every penny. The article said they couldn't prosecute because he couldn't understand what he was about to go through, that's BS. Put him on trial, let's see that DNA evidence and hear from those witnesses. If he's innocent, FINE but let JUSTICE take its course.



Intrepid,

I really like you... I do... your a good mod, and your contributions to the board are always valid and well thought out.

so i was a bit surprised to see this thread. While I agree with your statement he could speak basic English, this is not enough for a trial. and I agree the case should not have been dropped, but at the least he should have been detained and his trial postponed until a translator was available.

people are forgetting... This is in MARYLAND... barely a stated away from the capital of our country... should we have people that can translate African Languages in the capitol of our country? I figure this is a standard in the rest of the civilized world capitols. why do we not have it readily available for our courts?

I know if i was arrested in France I would have an English Interpreter provided for my trial. The least we can do as a "free society" is offer this man a fair trial presented in a language he has a strong and reliable understanding of.

just my two bits,

Coven



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 03:26 PM
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It is NOT a ' technicality ' for a defendant to be able to converse with his lawyers, comprehend the law and the procedures, and testify or not as they choose but in ALL cases the right to Counsel is a guaranteed CONSTITUTIONAL right, not a privlege. You call the right to Counsel a mere ' technicality'? That is absurd on it's face.

Also, for a defendant to be able to actively participate in the trial, he must be able to read the transcripts of previous testimony for rebuttal; that is an essential. And even if translators of ceritifed ability to conduct a trial level translationwere found , the defendant must be able to be assured that what he is saying is indeed being transmitted to the Court or the attorneys. So a translator is a necessity, not a ' technicality ', as you call it.

I am not on a soapbox, I merely am stating facts and matters of law and sound reason. You do NOT answer my questions, you really cannot and seem reasonable, now can you? To deny anyone dues process is just an outrageous thought and unaceptable in a democracy, or a republic. No free nation can allow people to be branded without cause.

The man was arrested THREE YEARS AGO and has no doubt been sitting in some dank jail all that time waiting for trial. If the State could not find a way to try this man in THREE YEARS, then he damn well should be released. If they had tried really hard perhaps they could have done it, but with him tucked away in jail, they could take their sweet time. And they did. And they paid the price, the girl(allegedly ) paid the price, society paid the price, and whose fault was it ? The Prosecutors, that's who.

If the Prosecution has a case, they could have presented it in three years. If they did not have a case, then they should not have locked a man up for three years. If they needed a translator, ( and remember it was a COURT APPOINTED psychiatrist who said that he spoke some English, but NOT ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO AID HIS DEFENSE.) THAT is the standard, that is the bar. If he could not aid in his defense, then he cannot get a fair trial. It is SO SIMPLE. I cannot see how anyone could defend a finding of guilt before a trial. To assume such is awful.

So, a technicality is a wrong date on a form..a technicality is some unavoidable consequence of human imperfections..and those are hardly ever allowed to get a verdict thrown ouit any more..it is a fallacy. But the real truth is that what YOU see as ' technicalities ' most people see as fundamental rights, enshrined in the Constitution and revered enough to apply to all, and not just some. This is no technicality; the ablity to be able to aid in one's own defense is a Right..the ability to seek Counsel from an attorney and converse with them FLUENTLY IS A RIGHT. Not a privlege that can be taken away.

You are saying " Let's take this guy's rights away..just this time because he must be a really bad guy to be charged with such terrible crimes ". Do you see how shallow that is? Can you understand why most people will say" Wait a minute, right to counsel and right to cross examine and understand what is going on in Court is important to ALL of us, we can't do away with it for a guy like this or any other accused."

Also, think about this a minute : What if, just what if, it turned out that the Prosecutor in this case had no more evidence for real than the prosecutor in the Duke ' rape ' case had? He was just disbarred for making false and misleading statements and inflaming the media and public against the accused; he had ' DNA ' evidence too, and it showed the accused were innocent. But the prosecutor just left that part out!! Didn't mention it until too late. See? It CAN happen and so don't believe everything, or most anything, that some prosecutor tells you. Wait until they get to court and see what they really have. They can't even get this case to Court!! Do not blame the Judge, or the law..it is the prosecutors who charge and gather evidence and make a case.

They had 3 years and unlimited funds and could not give this man a fair trial. You think that he should just sit there not knowing what is going on while the prosecutor and the lawyer go back and forth, right? Is that a fair trial? Would it be for you? You never answered me: Would YOU accept it if you were denied due process? Would YOU say it was fine to be taken to trial in a place where you had only a minimum comprehension of the language? Well, would you? Of course you would not, and neither would he, and nither would the judge. It is common sense.

RIGHTS ARE NOT TECHNICALITIES. Rights are precious, fundamental to freedom, necessary for justice; you dishonor the value of the most sacred creeds we believe in when you call major Constitutional Rights mere ' technicalities '. Your definitions lack not only accuracy, but a sense of duty to the preservation of our most critical and necessary means by which we seek justice and remain free. Technicality indeed!! Rights are much more than that, at least to an aware and educated Constitutional patriot.

Be careful lest you betray the oath to protect and defend by allowing the erosion of precious Rights due to outrage and emotion; such a thing would hardly be defensible, now would it? Thanks for your SPECIFIC answers.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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Why is it up to the prosecution to find an interpreter? This should be the responsibility of the defendant. If he wants a fancy lawyer or some DNA expert to help with his defense, let him pay for it too. All we owe him is a $30K/yr public defender.

And his diplomat in his country's embassy should be assisting him with finding an interpreter. It's not our problem.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Why is it up to the prosecution to find an interpreter? This should be the responsibility of the defendant. If he wants a fancy lawyer or some DNA expert to help with his defense, let him pay for it too. All we owe him is a $30K/yr public defender.

And his diplomat in his country's embassy should be assisting him with finding an interpreter. It's not our problem.


Actually, yes it is the court's problem. That is how the system is set up to work fairly for all. If you don't understand this principle perhaps you could do a little research so you understand the reality of how the system is supposed to work.

AncientMariner



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by AncientMariner
Actually, yes it is the court's problem. That is how the system is set up to work fairly for all. If you don't understand this principle perhaps you could do a little research so you understand the reality of how the system is supposed to work.

AncientMariner

Ok, let's do a little research:

It is not an absolute necessity for the court to appoint a translator for the defendant for the trial:


Whether an interpreter is appointed for a defendant lies wholly within the discretion of the trial judge. While the law accords courts discretion in this area, it cannot be abused. Again, it is incumbent on the defense to preserve the record for appellate review.


The right to a court-appointed interpreter in criminal proceedings is squarely within the discretion of the trial judge. Only in limited circumstances have appellate courts held that the failure of trial courts to afford adequate interpreter services constituted an abuse of discretion or was clearly erroneous in violation of a defendant's federal or state constitutional or statutory rights.
Although different judicial tests have been applied to determine if failure to provide an interpreter was error, appellate courts appear to focus the inquiry on whether a defendant had been denied a fair trial or whether the proceedings were fundamentally unfair, considering the totality of the circumstances. The review is highly factual and varies from case to case. Where a trial court has failed to appoint a qualified interpreter, the burden falls on the criminal defendant to show that his lack of comprehension of the proceeding was so complete that the trial was fundamentally unfair. [Richard W. Cole, Laura Maslow-Armand, The Role of Counsel and the Courts in Addressing Foreign Language and Cultural Barriers at Different Stages of a Criminal Proceeding, 19 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 193, 196-197 (1997).]

Emphasis added.


www.e-archives.ky.gov...


If you reads the source, you'll see that transcripts must be preserved for appelate review. That's the only requirement.


Also, most translator requirements assume that the defendant has no grasp of the rights being afforded to him, clearly not the case here.

[edit on 22-7-2007 by jsobecky]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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"Whether an interpreter is appointed for a defendant lies wholly within the discretion of the trial judge."

Thank you. You proved my point that it was an issue and a problem for the court, not the defendant, and in this particular case the trial judge determined that the lack of an interpreter could not satisfy the requirements of a fair trial that would stand up to an appeals process. So justice was administered as it was designed to. We may not be happy with the outcome, but the integrity of the process was preserved and that is far more important than the outcome of one specific case.

AncientMariner



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by AncientMariner
"Whether an interpreter is appointed for a defendant lies wholly within the discretion of the trial judge."

Thank you. You proved my point that it was an issue and a problem for the court, not the defendant, and in this particular case the trial judge determined that the lack of an interpreter could not satisfy the requirements of a fair trial that would stand up to an appeals process. So justice was administered as it was designed to. We may not be happy with the outcome, but the integrity of the process was preserved and that is far more important than the outcome of one specific case.

AncientMariner

It still remains the same. What's to prevent the judge from stating that a translator must be provided by the defense at their own and their embassy's cost? That satisfies the requirement.

And in this case, justice was not administered as designed. If you would have read the article, you would have seen that the trial could have been conducted with the proceedings preserved with audio and video tapes. These could be used in the appeal, if necessary.

Other points from the source to consider:


In trying to resolve the somewhat amorphous question of "fairness" to non-English speaking defendants, reviewing courts' analysis would be informed by considering the following questions:


Did the non-English speaking defendant have counsel, and, if so, was the defendant able to consult with and assist his or her attorney?
Did the defendant possess sufficient fluency in English to understand the testimony heard, the charges alleged, and the rights recited, or was he or she significantly inhibited in the ability to comprehend any portion of the proceedings?
Did the defendant understand and respond to questions during examination without substantial difficulty?
Did the defendant inform the trial court that he or she required an interpreter in order to make each and every aspect of the criminal proceeding comprehensible, or should the trial court have recognized that the defendant's comprehension at trial was significantly inhibited by language difficulties, and, if so, was interpretation provided at all times?
Were the indictment and other critical written documents translated and provided in writing to the non-English speaking defendant in his or her own language?
Was the defendant actually prejudiced by his or her inability to comprehend any portion of the proceedings?
Did the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waive the right to have an interpreter at trial?


There is no question in my mind that dismissing this case was a miscarriage of justice. There are procedures ( albeit poorly drafted) to handle a situation like this, as I have shown. They were not followed in this case.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:44 PM
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The Washington Post wrote in its article that in just one nightreporters were independently able to identify three Vai translators available to assist in the case. I


So how is it that the courts couldnt find one after checking with 47 states and the Liberian embassy? Who do they have working at that court?

This is a travesty.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree on this, but apparently in this case the courts hold my view. As I said, you may not like the outcome but I agree with the court in this case. The prosecution is free to appeal the dismissal and if they have not done that apparently even the prosecution recongized there was little hope at concluding the proceedings in a fair and speedy fashion.

AncientMariner



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:55 PM
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The more I read about this, the madder I get. There is no way this man should have been set free even under our existing laws and guidelines.

He fits the definition of a malingerer, imo:


Of course, courts must be mindful of the malingering defendant who, upon arrest, has suddenly lost much or all of their functional English. But just as courts regularly convene hearings on competency or the alleged insanity of defendants, so too could a hearing be convened to accurately gauge the defendant's English language deficit and need for an interpreter. In this vein the court should consider and police should investigate whether the defendant had English speaking only friends, worked in an English speaking work environment, had English speaking interactions with the police or other state's witnesses, and consider any documentary evidence that suggested English proficiency, such as magazines, books, receipts, bills, and letters. Thorough investigation by the police will also assist courts in dispatching of specious postconviction claims. After conviction and incarceration, an empty and self-serving claim of "I didn't understand," by a defendant with nothing to lose, without more, is not enough to trigger the postconviction machinery of the courts. Vigilance against false claims will insure that this important issue will continue to be treated seriously instead of being denied with a wink and a smile rubber stamp denial.

www.e-archives.ky.gov...

The sitting judge did nothing to determine whether an interpreter was truly needed in this case, imo.

[edit on 22-7-2007 by jsobecky]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:05 PM
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eyewitness, you really shouldn't let your passions get in the way of reason. OK, we'll look at this again. BTW, did you read the source material? If not, let's corrolate. You said:


Originally posted by eyewitness86
Also, for a defendant to be able to actively participate in the trial, he must be able to read the transcripts of previous testimony for rebuttal; that is an essential. And even if translators of ceritifed ability to conduct a trial level translationwere found , the defendant must be able to be assured that what he is saying is indeed being transmitted to the Court or the attorneys. So a translator is a necessity, not a ' technicality ', as you call it.


Really? Well let's look at the source:


FOX News spoke with a man who claimed to be Kanneh in a five-minute phone conversation on Sunday in English. He said the allegations against him were false and the dismissal of the charges was "a good thing." Asked if the accusations were true, he responded, "I said what I had to say" and hung up.


Sounds to me that he can understand English better than functional. Oh, wait, maybe we better get an interpreter for his legal counsel as well, just in case they can't understand English as well as the defendant. After all THEY will be the ones bartering points of law, not the defendant.



The man was arrested THREE YEARS AGO and has no doubt been sitting in some dank jail all that time waiting for trial. If the State could not find a way to try this man in THREE YEARS, then he damn well should be released. If they had tried really hard perhaps they could have done it, but with him tucked away in jail, they could take their sweet time. And they did. And they paid the price, the girl(allegedly ) paid the price, society paid the price, and whose fault was it ? The Prosecutors, that's who.


Oh my, he was sitting in a dank jail. How do you know that? Jail aren't dank but your outlook towards an alleged felon certainly leave me with a cold damp feeling. BTW, do you know that people will do what's call "dead time"? That way they can get 2 days for one, or better, actually reducing the time they spend in jail. How do YOU know it was the prosecutors that left him in that dank prison and not his counsel that told him this was the best course of action?

*rant snipped*


You are saying " Let's take this guy's rights away..just this time because he must be a really bad guy to be charged with such terrible crimes ".


Your concern for the rights of the alleged victim and potential future victims is noteworthy and admirable.



Also, think about this a minute : What if, just what if, it turned out that the Prosecutor in this case had no more evidence for real than the prosecutor in the Duke ' rape ' case had? He was just disbarred for making false and misleading statements and inflaming the media and public against the accused; he had ' DNA ' evidence too, and it showed the accused were innocent.


GOOD, then let's let this evidence see a trial then. Not speculate on it.


But the prosecutor just left that part out!! Didn't mention it until too late. See? It CAN happen and so don't believe everything, or most anything, that some prosecutor tells you. Wait until they get to court and see what they really have. They can't even get this case to Court!! Do not blame the Judge, or the law..it is the prosecutors who charge and gather evidence and make a case.


You've got a real problem with prosecutors, don't you. See my above statement.


They had 3 years and unlimited funds and could not give this man a fair trial. You think that he should just sit there not knowing what is going on while the prosecutor and the lawyer go back and forth, right? Is that a fair trial?


At last, you hit on what might be the complicity of his defense team. Thanks for making my point.


Would it be for you? You never answered me: Would YOU accept it if you were denied due process?


Nope, not for a second. I also would like to see justice done, for ALL in this case, including the alleged.


Would YOU say it was fine to be taken to trial in a place where you had only a minimum comprehension of the language? Well, would you? Of course you would not, and neither would he, and nither would the judge. It is common sense.


Hold on now, you're reading things into this that aren't there. Who said he had minimal comprehension? NO ONE. It was stated as "functional". Do you know what that means? Merriam Webster defines "functional as:

"performing or able to perform a regular function"

So let's not portray this individual, that's sitting in a "dank" cell as being minimal in his understanding of English. I've already pointed out that he isn't "minimal".

*snipped more unrelavent diatribe.


Be careful lest you betray the oath to protect and defend by allowing the erosion of precious Rights due to outrage and emotion; such a thing would hardly be defensible, now would it?


One easy question, what about the rights of victims, alleged victims and future victims?


Thanks for your SPECIFIC answers.


SPECIFIC enough?



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by eyewitness86
WAIT A MINUTE folks, think about this another way; We do NOT have all the facts. How long has the man been sitting in jail? How many attempts has the Prosecution made to find an interpreter?

It is not an absolute that the prosecution must find a translator. It is entirely up to the judge to make that decision.

The only requirement is that the trial proceedings be preserved for appelate review. That is easily done with audio and video tapes.

This man was not functionally illiterate in English. He had attended high school and community college here in the US. I doubt they had Vai translators in those institutions. You would have known this had you read the base article.

So this man had no constitutional right to a translator at his trial, as the articles I have provided illustrate. They were authored by judges, btw.

The sitting judge judge in this case was incompetent. She took the wrong way out of this case; she abdicated her responsibility to society.

This man fits the definition of a malingering defendant who all of a sudden loses his ability to communicate when charged with a crime. He played the system, and the sympathetic apologist judge let him play.

Disgusting and revolting. A miscarriage of justice.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:36 PM
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what would have been the problem in setting another court date while they looked for an interpreter?

That scum bag is free and the judge ought to be behind bars.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:41 PM
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From the source


Mahamu Kanneh, a Liberian native who received asylum in this country and attended high school and community college here, according to The Washington Post, was denied a speedy trial after three years awaiting a court-appointed interpreter who could speak the tribal language of Vai.


How did he survive High School and Community college with out speaking and understanding English?



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by EvilBat
How did he survive High School and Community college with out speaking and understanding English?


The spirit of Johnnie Cochran lives on.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by EvilBat



How did he survive High School and Community college with out speaking and understanding English?
Now that lends real credence to the story


And yes, Intrepid, If the mouth dont talk, you must acquit.





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