The Stay-Away Court Order: Why 100 Yards?
Recognizing faces is something taken into account by architects, landscape designers, and zoning planners. It is a fact that when architects want to design communities that encourage citizen-interaction buildings, streets, and vegetation are strategically placed. If interaction is desired buildings, sidewalks, gardens, storefronts, etc. are created within 100 feet of each other, or further apart (over 150 feet or 50 yards away) when privacy is needed. This is because when people pass each other within a distance of 100 feet, it is easy to recognize their faces.
Most people will say that this happens because as the face gets farther away it gets smaller. This is obviously true in the sense that as a face is moved further from an observer,it shrinks from the observer’s perspective. If one wanted to demonstrate the effect of distance on perception, one could do so by appropriately shrinking a picture.
This is done in the study "Why is it easier to identify someone close than far away?" by Geoffrey R. Loftus of the University of Washington and Erin M. Harley of the University of California, Los Angeles.
The study mentioned above is included in The Innocence Project.
In many traffic codes the distance of 100 yards is mentioned when referring to general visibility and safety.
In maritime law, many codes state that vessels may not be operated in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water. This is because of the waves a vessel may cause, therefore creating a danger for the proximate boats and/or people. Vessels may not operate in excess of idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline (South Carolina/ Sec. 50-21-870).
I was not able to find any exact explanation as to why many states have adopted the 100 yard standard stay-away distance in orders of protection from abuse or restraining orders. Perhaps, since 50 yards seems to be a distance at which one person can still recognize another person's face, providing a greater distance, such as doubling that distance, may guarantee in some way that the protected person will not be disturbed by the offender since at 100 yards or more it is almost impossible to distinguish facial features.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month (June, 2013) that the police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime to see if the DNA matches any samples from unsolved crimes in a national database.
The 5 to 4 decision split the court's conservative and liberal blocs, with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia heading a fiery dissent. Twenty-eight states and the Federal Government have enacted laws that provide for automatic DNA testing of arrested persons.
Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy acknowledged that taking a DNA sample is a search, but that the Fourth Amendment bars “unreasonable” searches and a "gentle" swabbing of the cheek is not unreasonable. Nor, he said, is it unreasonable to use DNA to ascertain whether the arrestee has a criminal history that would make him a flight-risk or a danger to the public if released on bail.
Click Here to Read the Entire Article
Planetary Mapping and Planet Images
The Planetary Geologic Mapping Program serves the international science community through the production of high-quality and referred geologic maps of planetary bodies. This program is in coordination between NASA science programs and the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. Click on the image to learn more.
Interested in Astrogeology terminology? Click here: Glossary
Translation Guidelines for Government Agencies and Universities
Any document containing foreign language submitted to a U.S. agency or private institution must be accompanied by a full English-language translation which the translator has certified. In the U.S. it not possible to notarize a translation; it is the translator's signature that is notarized.
In the United States, it is not necessary for a foreign document to contain an apostille in order to be translated. U.S. documents (and their translations) that will be presented in a foreign country may require an apostille. In Delaware apostilles can be obtained at the U.S Department of State, Division of Corporations in Dover.
All translations must be done following certain guidelines:
Any document containing foreign language must be accompanied by a full English-language translation with a Translator Certification. The translator's certification is an affidavit stating that the translator is qualified to perform fair, complete, and accurate translations from one specific language to the second language. The translation should have the same formatting as the Non-English document. Signatures should not be copied and pasted, rather indicated with the word [Signature] in the exact location of the non-English document. The translator should state where the translation ends with words such as "End of Translation" before adding his or her certification.
A Basic Translator Certification looks like this:
I [typed name], certify that I am fluent in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ____________.
Signature _____________ Date _________________
Typed Name ___________ Address _______________
Translations done by the following are NOT acceptable:
-Same person who's name is on the document/s
-Relatives of the document owner
-Attorneys for the party presenting the document
-The same notary public notarizing the document
-Bilingual speakers not fluent in legal terminology
Translation of foreign documents SHOULD be done by a professional translator, a court interpreter, a dean or professor of a university's foreign language department (translation must be done on official letterhead,) a senior student of a graduate language program (also on University Letterhead,) or by a highly qualified bilingual person.
U.S. documents that will be presented in a foreign country may require an apostille. In Delaware apostilles can be obtained at the U.S Department of State, Division of Corporations in Dover.
For more information, contact your local Universities, Immigration Offices, or Courts.
How Does the Infamous Ankle Bracelet Work
Electronic monitoring was originally developed by a small group of researchers at Harvard University in the 1960s, headed by R. Kirkland Schwitzgebel and his twin brother, Robert Schwitzgebel. In 1983 Judge Jack Love in Albuquerque, New Mexico, inspired by a Spider-Man comic strip, initiated the first judicially sanctioned program using monitoring devices. These monitoring devices were produced by Michael T. Goss, a former Honeywell computer sales representative. Shortly thereafter, programs began in Florida using a cuff invented by Thomas Moody. Within six years, at least 16 manufacturers were listed in the Journal of Offender Monitoring. In 2007 an estimated 130,000 units were deployed daily in the United States.
Electronic monitoring with the cuff also gained popularity in the United Kingdom, but adoption in the rest of the European Union was a little slower. A collection of early equipment and a written summary, with photographs, of the history of commercial devices in the United States is housed at the Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA.
An ankle monitor (also known as a tether, or ankle bracelet) is a device worn by individuals under house arrest, probation, or parole. At timed intervals, the ankle monitor sends a radio frequency signal containing location and other information to a receiver. If an offender moves outside of an allowed range, the police are notified. Ankle monitors are designed to be tamper-resistant and can alert authorities if the wearer attempts to disable or remove it.
The most common configuration is a radio-frequency transmitter unit that sends a signal to a fixed location-receiving-unit in the offender's residence. The residence-unit uses either a landline or a cellular network to relay information to a central service computer. If the offender is not at the residence at the stipulated times, an alert is sent to the service center and then relayed to the supervising probation officer.
GPS units are similar in design, but the offender also carries a GPS cell phone unit that receives a signal from the ankle unit, or, both functions may be combined into one ankle unit.
Hot weather and celebrating increases alcohol consumption. The number of DUIs in the summer tends to be as much as 10 times higher than the average number of intoxicated drivers on cold winter days.
Here are some phrases you may hear in court during the summer:
Implied Consent: permiso implicito/acuerdo tacito
Free from debris: libre de escombros
Flat-bottom shoes: calzado de suela plana
Heel-to-toe: caminar de talon-a- punta
Instruction Stance: posicion inicial
Nine step and turn: prueba de nueve pasos y voltear
Blood-shot eyes: ojos inyectados de sangre
B.A.C.: porcentaje de alcohol en sangre
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol: conducir o manejar bajo los efectos del alcohol
Driving while intoxicated: conducir o manejar con las facultades impedidas/conducir ebrio
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: pruebas de campo estandarizadas de alcoholemia /Pruebas de alcoholemia en el lugar
DUI Check Point/Sobriety Check Point: puesto de control de alcoholemia
Horizontal Gaze: mirar fijamente de lado a lado/ busqueda de nistagmo
Ignition Interlock Device: dispositivo anti-ignicion
Dram Shop: establecimiento expendedor de bebidas alcoholicas
Click here to view the book "Beer Fronts and Crime Waves: A GIS Analysis of Weather, Alcohol, and Violent Crime" by Jack William Logan Millar
Thank you for reading the newsletter. I appreciate your support!
Have a wonderful summer. Please eat healthy foods, look for the goodness in people, and remember your goals.
Safety for Interpreters- Part 1
Legal matters are stressful. People who come to court may have feelings such as nervousness, fright, suspicion, frustration, or anger. Court and medical interpreters enjoy a certain level of peace of mind, because when it comes to safety, there is usually a bailiff, police officer, or nurse nearby. Interpreters should not expect to encounter violence while interpreting, but it is wise to be aware of your surroundings and to learn how to be prepared to react effectively if something should happen . The interpreter is, after all, usually the person stationed closest to the litigant. In my seven-plus years of working as a court interpreter, I have never been physically attacked. However, a colleague of mine who has over twenty years of experience once suffered a black eye after a patient slammed the door on the way out of a civil commitment hearing. Her story inspired me to write this article.
It is important to remain alert and use common sense, well... always, but especially when working in courthouses, jails, and mental institutions. If you feel a situation is dangerous, interpret from a safer location by using remote interpreter equipment. When standing at a podium, the defendant should place both hands on top of the podium instead of inside the cubby or in his/her pockets. If you know that a defendant has a history of violent behavior, the interpreter may remain standing even though the litigant is sitting. If you must stand beside the defendant, stand one or two feet behind to allow yourself a greater range of motion for evasive of defensive maneuvers. Do not keep your pen on the table while taking the interpreter's oath or while accommodating chairs. By holding your pen in your hand at all times you help keep others from appropriating it and using it as a weapon. Make sure your purse and/or briefcase are out of the-way so you do not trip over them. Falling will make you vulnerable. Bags on the table and on the floor look sloppy and may cause accidents. Interpreters should not wear standard neckties, decorative scarves, solid-loop lanyards, or anything else wrapped around their neck; these items could be used to pull or choke. Instead, wear neckties and ID-holders that clip onto clothing and/or break-away lanyards. Below are some recommendations for interpreting in prisons:
There are four rules to remember: (may be different in each county or state)
1. Do not wear clothing that resembles the clothing that prisoners wear:
a. Khaki pants
b. Khaki, denim-blue, or grey chambray or polo shirts;
d. Orange tops and/or orange bottoms , white tops with white bottoms; jumpsuits
e. Dresses that resemble prisoner muumuu (female institutions only)
2. Do not wear clothing that resembles what custodial staff wears:
a. pants the same color as guards
b. shirt the same color as guards
3. Dress conservatively and modestly; and
4. Do not wear any item that will set off the metal detector/will not be allowed to pass and cannot be taken off such as an under-wire bra or basic layers of clothing with metal buttons.
These are SPECIFIC restrictions compiled from multiple associations and institutions:
-No camouflage unless identification shows active or reserve military personnel;
-No strapless, halter, bare midriff, sheer, or transparent clothing;
-No skirts, dresses, or shorts that expose more than two inches above the knee;
-No clothing that exposes the breast, genitalia, or buttocks areas;
-No tight or form-fitting attire;
-No wigs, hairpieces, extensions, or other headpieces except for medical reasons and with prior approval;
-No hats or gloves, except with prior approval or in inclement weather;
-No neckties or scarves; and
Remember to call the court, prison, or hospital before your assignment for rules and recommendations.
Also check: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3148.pdf
Interpreting Long and Compound Questions
Interpreting long and compound questions may be an interpreter's worse nightmare. Many attorneys prefer this type of interrogation although some attorneys understand the negative effects that these complex forms of questioning may have on non-English speakers.
Below is a video of a deposition with long questions.
Now that you've heard the deposition you've probably noticed that the questions are long and compound but not terribly complicated. You know the name of the victim. You've probably also noticed that the attorney starts many questions with "How much time did you spend investigating..." Make a list of anything else you remember then watch the video again.
Here are some things you can do when interpreting for depositions:
1. INTRODUCE yourself, explain the duties of the interpreter, and warn the attorney that long and compound questions may not be understood correctly by the non-English speaker due to indistinct pronouns, prepositions, and dual-applications of certain verb tenses of that particular foreign language.
2. Obtain information IN ADVANCE. Preparation sessions are ideal and many attorneys use the same interpreter for the preparation session as for the deposition. If this did not happen in your case, a brief conversation with the deponent will have to do. Ask and make notes of names, addresses, general idea and purpose of the testimony, description of injury or accident, etc. ASK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Use this information to provide context for the interpretation.
3. Chunks of speech that are familiar, like "Please state your name and address and spell your name for the court reporter" or " "Is it true that on the date in question..." should be learned in conjunction with a specific symbol. Then the passage can be indicated on the interpreter's notepad with that symbol. Items that in a particular deposition are repeated over and over again may be written the first time, then recorded by drawing arrows.
4. Once the questioning begins, RELAX, listen, and understand the essence of the question. Do not become obsessed with taking notes of everything because you may become distracted, begin to think excessively, and you may not grasp the main idea of the question which is so badly needed in order to connect the notes you took in the first place. If you are fluent in every-day speech and you've learned legal terminology, the key is to relax, understand, and remember, and to take notes effectively. Keep this in mind: It is difficult to remember what you cannot understand. It is impossible to interpret what you cannot remember, no matter how well you speak any language.
Human Intelligence, Interpretation, and Non-Verbal Communication are Hard Things to Imitate
On July 5th, 2013 the Honda robot Asimo was reported to have had problems identifying arm gestures.
Honda's popular robot Asimo was placed in the Miraikan Science Museum in Tokyo to function as a guide for 4 weeks as part of a trial, but it faced problems with gesture- recognition on its first day. The machine struggled to differentiate between visitors at the museum raising their hands to ask a question and raising their hands to take photos.
During a demonstration it froze and asked: "Who wants to ask Asimo a question?" over and over again when people pointed their cameras at it.
Honda robotics technology specialist Satoshi Shigemi said: "Right now it can recognize a child waving to it but it's not able to comprehend the meaning of the waving"
Speaking to the BBC last year (2012) Prof. Chris Melhuish, director of the British Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England, said that interaction with humans was the next big step for robotics. "The key thing, and it's what we're working on at the moment, is safe human-robot interaction," he said.