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Fine Points of the Law

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In July, Maryland county judge Katherine Savage dismissed, permanently, a 2004 child-rape charge against a Liberian immigrant after finding that he speaks a rare tribal language for which no translators were available in time to meet the state's speedy-trial requirement. Nonetheless, according to a Washington Post report, the defendant's demand for a native speaker might have been a ruse because he speaks English well enough to have attended high school and community college here and to have argued his innocence to arresting officers. The court actually found three translators (with a fourth in waiting), but each claimed unavailability. The Post reporter, also, found other translators who could have worked the case.

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