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Tag Archives: Jury

The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

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