Midwest Social Sciences Journal


Deaf defendants are an underexamined population in criminal justice research, and very few studies have examined their involvement in the criminal justice system. In addition, research on accommodating the linguistic needs of deaf defendants is sparse. Failure to accommodate the linguistic needs of deaf defendants presents several concerns, including disparate treatment and violations of ADA-guaranteed rights that may lead to inadmissible evidence, dismissals of cases, and not-guilty verdicts, as well as lawsuits and litigation, all of which create additional strain on an already overburdened system. The current study combines previous research on deaf defendants with the findings of data gathered from courtroom practitioners nationwide to gain an understanding of the current practices used to facilitate communication during criminal trials involving deaf defendants.