Judge: Learn English or Go To Prison

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Judge: Learn English or Go To Prison

Sentence Could Let Three Spanish-Speakers Skip Prison Time on Robbery Rap The Associated Press

WILKES-BARRE, Pa.

A judge known for creative sentencing has ordered three Spanish-speaking men to learn English or go to jail.

The men, who faced prison for criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, can remain on parole if they learn to read and write English, earn their GEDs and get full-time jobs, Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. said.
The men, Luis Reyes, Ricardo Dominguez and Rafael Guzman-Mateo, plus a fourth defendant, Kelvin Reyes-Rosario, all needed translators when they pleaded guilty Tuesday.
“Do you think we are going to supply you with a translator all of your life?” the judge asked them.

The four, ranging in age from 17 to 22, were in a group that police said accosted two men on a street in May. The two said they were asked if they had marijuana, told to empty their pockets, struck on the head, threatened with a gun and told to stay off the block.

Their lawyers are thinking of appealing?

And His Honor should know that we will indeed provide translators for the defendants whenever they appear in court – maybe after they learn English they can become translators for the court system.

After an aggravated robbery, they should not have been given a choice. Perhaps for the younger one this sentence makes sense. At least the judge is trying to give us a better educated group of thugs.

[quote=didymus]maybe after they learn English they can become translators for the court system.

[/quote]

I like this idea. It wouldn’t be automatic, but they could apply for the job after completing whatever they need to. It’d be hard to dodge your parole officer if you work in the court building.

Education never hurt anyone, least of all ESL. Sounds like the judge is trying to be Solomon or is totally frustrated. Hope it starts a trend…not just to learn a language, but to help all inmates get GED’s.

There was a road sign from the Dept. of Correction…that said…stay in school or we will be seeing you sometime. Must be some correlation to support that statement. Hope it works for sure!

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