Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Today from Gawker:

[Inquirer, mugshot via Philadelphia Inquirer]

An illiterate deaf man who knows no sign language being prosecuted in Pennsylvania. His linguistic deficit is either his biggest problem—particularly for participating in his own defense—or the greatest loophole in his criminal career, depending who you ask.

Juan Jose Gonzalez Luna's defense lawyer believes his client was raised in an isolated town in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Luna met few (if any) other deaf people, and did not learn to read or write. He uses ad-hoc pantomiming to communicate. Though Luna is intellectually competent, his public defense lawyer has "a really hard time" communicating "even the most basic things. To try to describe legal procedure to someone like that is virtually impossible."

Read more here.

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