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Creating the Right Mentality: Dealing with the Problem of Juror Delinquency in the New South Korean Lay Participation System

Posted by on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 in Notes, Vol. 40 No. 1, Volume 40, Volumes.

The Judiciary Reform Committee of South Korea has planned to implement a five year pilot program that will allow public participation in trials.  This will be the first time in the nation’s judicial history that lay participation will be used.  The format of the pilot program will be a mixture of the U.S.-style jury system and the German lay assessor system, with the program being more akin to the U.S. system.  As South Korea has never had a lay participation system, it has a unique opportunity to create a system that will avoid problems associated with lay participation.  This Note focuses on addressing the problem of juror delinquency in the form of (a) jury duty avoidance and (b) juror misconduct during trial.  The Author will examine the history of this problem in the United States and the successes and shortfalls in addressing this problem.  The Author argues that the root of the problem of juror delinquency is the mentality of prospective jurors and proposes a system of rules and procedures that will help to avoid what has been a chronic and incurable problem with the U.S. jury system.

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