On Thursday, October 12, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Davenport, Iowa. The proceeding will take place in Davenport Central High School Performing Arts Center, 1120 Main Street. The oral arguments are open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.
The court will hear attorneys argue in the following case:
State of Iowa v. Carlos Ariel Gomez Garcia, case no. 15-1543, from Scott County District Court
Defendant Carlos Garcia is able to read and understand the English language and sought to waive the assistance of court interpreters at his trial on drug related charges. Defendant believed that the presence of interpreters would be distracting and confusing to him and could be unfairly prejudicial to him during a jury trial. The trial court ordered the interpreters to remain present on a standby basis throughout the trial, whereupon defendant waived his right to a jury trial, and the trial court ultimately found him guilty on the drug charges. The Iowa Court of Appeals determined that the trial court erred in refusing to accept Garcia's knowing and voluntary waiver of interpreter services and reversed his convictions and ordered a new trial. The State argues on further review before the Iowa Supreme Court that improperly denying a waiver of interpreter services does not fundamentally affect the fairness of the proceedings and does not warrant automatic reversal of a criminal conviction.
Attorneys' briefs for the case, the court of appeals decision, and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/Supreme_Court/Davenport/
A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments in the school cafeteria.