裁判員制度

21 May

In the 1930’s, Japan had a 裁判員制度 (jury system) in the courts similar to America has.

But it wasn’t popular and was changed in the early 1940’s to a system where professional judges determine the verdict of defendants in criminal cases, and it stayed that way…until today.

Beginning today (21 May 2009), courts in Japan are using the 裁判員制度 (jury system) again.

It’s surprising that the government decided to adopt this system…since polls conducted since the bill for this was passed into law five years ago consistently have shown that the majority of Japanese are against the idea of having a 裁判員制度 (jury system).

But the law was passed…and went into effect today.

Slightly different from the jury system in America, the Japanese 裁判員制度 (jury system) will consist of a panel of six jurors and three judges who will decided verdicts in court cases and decide what sentences to give those found guilty.
In cases where the jurors rule one way but the judges rule the other…the judges ruling will stand.

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The 新型インフルエンザ (New Type Flu (Swine Flu)) has spread to Tokyo. 😦
Until Wednesday, all of the cases of this flu were in the 関西地方 (Kansai area) of Japan…but two teenage girls from the 関東地方 (Tokyo area) went on a school trip to America and came back with the flu.

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The World Health Organization determined that once again Japanese women have the highest life expectancy rate in the world.

Japanese women live to be an average of 86 years old.

Men from a country near Italy that I’ve never heard of called San Marino have the longest life expectancy rate for men. Their average life span is 81 years.

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9 Responses to “裁判員制度”

  1. Tor May 23, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    What if 5 juors vote one way and the judges vote all the other? It would be 5 to 4 againt the judges but they were unanimous. So would the judges vote win? Still seems wrong, especially if all 6 jurors vote one way and all three judges vote the other.

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

      Well, it’s been decided that if the judges are unanimous in their decision, that since they’re experts in the law, it’s likely that they’re right.

      As I mentioned above, it’s possible that this rule will change after the public becomes more used to the jury system.

      Like

  2. gigihawaii May 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    The civilian jurors are superfluous, aren’t they, if the judges’ opinion is all that matters?

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    • tokyo5 May 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

      No. As I wrote above, the only time that the verdict will be decided solely by the judges is when the they rule unanimously one way and the juror unanimously rule the other.

      This is because it’s been decided that (at least until the public is used to the jury system) in that case, they should defer to the experts.

      Like

  3. Tor May 22, 2009 at 4:31 am #

    If the Judges agree with the jurors – The Judges opinion stands.

    If the judges don’t agree with jurors – The Judges opinion stands.

    Hmmm, seems the same as it is now.

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 22, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

      No. I guess my explanation wasn’t clear…

      There are three judges and six jurors who vote on the verdict…and majority wins unless all three judges vote the same—in that case, their verdict stands regardless of how the jurors voted.

      I’ve heard that this is possibly a temporary way and it’s done because the judges are trained experts on the law but it might be changed after the public becomes more used to the jury system.

      Personally, I don’t think I like the jury system. Judges are not only experts on the law but they’re trained to be impartial.
      After I saw that OJ Simpson trial in America, I lost faith in juries being fair.

      Like

  4. Tor May 22, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    In the case where the jury rules one way but the judges rule the other, the judges ruling will stand? Then that means there is no difference. That means the judges ruling will ALWAYS stand. That makes no sense.

    Like

  5. In10Words aka "Galileo" May 22, 2009 at 4:01 am #

    So…how much of Japan’s legal system was like the Phoenix Wright games before this? 😉

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

      I’ve never actually played that game…but I heard it’s modeled after the Japanese legal system (it’s a Japanese video game (called 逆転裁判 here)).

      Like

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