Thursday, May 21, 2009
1st Deaf Juror
Karen Smith is believed to be the first deaf person chosen to serve on a jury in Olmsted County Minnesota. The trial lasted three days and Smith used four interpreters. They charged $70 an hour for a total bill of around $2500. During a time that only one interpreter could be available, the court reporter used her steno machine and real-time software program to provide Smith with a transcript. She was given a separate laptop. An oath was found to give to the interpreters so they could go room where the jurors deliberated. The first vote was split but eventually, the defendant was found not guilty.