Canales' legislation requires confessions to be written in native language.

Bill awaiting Perry's signature would require confessions written in native language

Jacob Fischler, The Monitor

A bill authored by State Rep. Terry Canales is awaiting Gov. Rick Perry’s signature.

Assuming he signs it, he’ll do something the new law would guarantee for all Texans accused of a crime: signing a document that suspect can read in their native language.

The Edinburg Democrat’s bill, HB 2090 — which was sent to the governor’s desk May 26 — would require that a written statement signed by an accused criminal be presented in a language the accused can understand. Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Until the law takes effect on Sept. 1 — or if Perry decides to veto it — a non-English speaker can sign a criminal confession in English without comprehending what the statement actually says.


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