Deaf defendant put before judge without interpreter; Northampton County looks into why

Northampton County court officials are examining why a deaf defendant arraigned in late July was not provided a sign language interpreter during his first criminal court appearance.

Jill Cicero, county associate court administrator, said the law requires the court to provide a certified interpreter — either in person or remotely — for those with hearing disabilities. But that didn’t happen during Steven Gonzalez’s 9 a.m. arraignment July 22 at District Judge Robert Hawke’s office in Lehigh Township, Cicero said.

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