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Lost in Translation: Effects of Language on Native Spanish Speakers’ Understanding of the Miranda Rights Comprehension I...

Material Information

Lost in Translation: Effects of Language on Native Spanish Speakers’ Understanding of the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments and a Spanish Translation of the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments
Physical Description:
Santiago Pagán, Jonah
New College of Florida
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Bachelor's ( B.A.)
Degree Grantor:
New College of Florida
Degree Divisions:
Social Sciences, Humanities
Area of Concentration:
Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture
Faculty Sponsor:
Harley, Heidi
Labrador-Rodriguez, Sonia


bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, territorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


The Latino population faces numerous disparities in the United States criminal justice system as outlined in the first chapter of this thesis. One challenge of special detriment to the Spanish-speaking Latino/a is that of language barriers. Previous research has found numerous associations between Miranda rights comprehension and language barriers, among other factors. The current study explored the effects of language on a prototypical participant sample of native Spanish-speaking Latino/as experiencing different levels of the language barrier disparity in the U.S. judicial and carceral systems. Six participants were administered the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments (MRCI), a widely used and well regarded set of four instruments meant to be administered to defendants declaring incompetency to waive Miranda due to a lack of comprehension, but not available to Spanish speakers because of a lack of translations. Three participants were administered the MRCI in its original English form and three were administered a translated Spanish version of the MRCI. The translated Spanish version of the MRCI was translated by the researcher, and back-translated by a native Spanish-speaking professor with more than a decades experience in the Spanish language field. Overall, participants in the Spanish language condition outperformed participants in the English language condition on all four instruments of the MRCI as well as sub-scales of the Function of Rights in Interrogation (FRI) instrument. The findings indicated that there is clearly a need for the Spanish translation of the MRCI and other forensic tools and tests like it. Findings also suggest that the Spanish translation of the MRCI employed in this study works. Demographics of the diverse and representative participants with experience in the U.S. judicial and carceral systems, and their effects, strengthen the evidence for this claim and suggest future research relevant to the validity of this translation.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jonah Santiago Pagán
Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2014
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
General Note:
Faculty Sponsor: Harley, Heidi; Labrador-Rodriguez, Sonia

Record Information

Source Institution:
New College of Florida
Holding Location:
New College of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Resource Identifier:
S.T. 2014 S2
System ID:

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