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Court: Bad Miranda translation requires new trial

Posted: July 15, 2013 5:40 p.m.
Updated: July 15, 2013 5:40 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned the marijuana and weapons convictions of an Oregon man who had his Miranda rights improperly translated into Spanish.

The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a federal trial judge improperly refused to suppress statements Jeronimo Botello-Rosales gave to Yamhill County sheriff's detectives after receiving the faulty warning.

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel says Botello-Rosales is therefore entitled to withdraw the guilty plea he entered to federal drug charges.

According to court documents, the detective doing the translating was a native Spanish speaker.

But he flubbed the part of the Miranda warning about the suspect being entitled to a court-appointed lawyer, using the Spanish version of the word "free" that means "available, at liberty" instead of "at no cost."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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