Interpreters; public policy.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of this state that the constitutional rights of persons unable to communicate the English language cannot be fully protected unless interpreters are available to assist such persons in legal proceedings. It is the intent of sections 25-2401 to 25-2407 to provide a procedure for the appointment of such interpreters to avoid injustice and to assist such persons in their own defense.
Source:Laws 1973, LB 116, § 1; Laws 1987, LB 376, § 11; Laws 2002, LB 22, § 8.
Minor or isolated inaccuracies, omissions, interruptions, or other defects in translation are inevitable and do not warrant relief where the translation is on the whole reasonably timely, complete, and accurate, and the defects do not render the proceeding fundamentally unfair. Tapia-Reyes v. Excel Corp., 281 Neb. 15, 793 N.W.2d 319 (2011).
The requirement that an interpreter provide an accurate translation implicates a defendant's due process right to a fair trial as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, the ultimate question being whether the translator's performance has rendered the trial fundamentally unfair. Tapia-Reyes v. Excel Corp., 281 Neb. 15, 793 N.W.2d 319 (2011).
If a defendant understands and communicates reasonably well in the English language, the mere fact that such defendant might be able to accomplish self-expression a little better in another language does not warrant utilizing an interpreter at trial. State v. Topete, 221 Neb. 771, 380 N.W.2d 635 (1986).