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[20PacRimLPolyJ635] Death Penalty Sentencing in Japan under the Lay Assessor System: Avoiding the Avoidable through Unanimity

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dc.contributor.author Sher, Elizabeth M.
dc.contributor.author Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal
dc.date 2011-06
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T15:08:41Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T15:08:41Z
dc.date.issued 2011-06
dc.identifier.citation 20 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 635 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1066-8632
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/1031
dc.description.abstract Abstract: The Lay Assessor Act of 2004 mandated the creation of a mixed lay judge system, called the saibanin seido. Under this new system, jurors, or lay judges, sit with professional judges to decide the fate of criminal defendants. The Lay Assessor Act requires lay judges to decide both the verdict and sentencing of defendants in the same sitting. The verdict and sentence require support from a majority of the jurors and must include one professional judge on the panel. For certain crimes in Japan, the death penalty is one possible sentence. Under the saibanin seido system, for the first time ever in Japan, lay judges determine whether to hand down a death sentence. Examining psychological research on jury deliberations in the United States, as well as the norms of international law, this comment suggests that Japan adopt a unanimous requirement for a death sentence. Implementing unanimity for capital punishments would allow Japan to adhere to its Constitution and comply with international law standards. The unanimity requirement would foster essential deliberations that do not occur otherwise and is necessary to increase citizen confidence, understanding, and involvement in the criminal justice system. Further, increased deliberation will override emotional influences from trial, such as victim impact statements. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Comment en_US
dc.title [20PacRimLPolyJ635] Death Penalty Sentencing in Japan under the Lay Assessor System: Avoiding the Avoidable through Unanimity en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright 2011 by Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association en_US


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