Posted by: rbbadger | December 16, 2008

Parents fined

An 18 year-old boy was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for the rape of a 7 year old girl.  The parents of the girl sued the parents in court for about 225 million won (about $166,730 US).  The court found the parents negligent and fined them 83 million won (about $61,000 US).  You can read more details about that here.

South Korea currently does not have the jury system.  Eventually, the Supreme Court of Korea would like to have one and has begun experimenting with them.  However, whatever verdicts the juries may return are not binding on the judge or judges that hear the case.  (Some cases involve only one judge.  More high profile or sensitive cases involve a panel of three judges.)  The judge alone decides guilt or innocence.  Korea is not the only country which has no jury system.  Germany abolished them in 1924 and has not seen fit to restore them.  Singapore used to have them, but they abolished them soon after independence.  Japan has never used them.  China, well, is China.  This is the same county which used to extract a “bullet tax” from the family of the person they executed.

Speaking of juries, the learned judge in the matter of the son of Vincent Romero has denied the defense’s motion for a jury trial.  The juvenile court system functions very differently from the adult court system.  So if that case ever goes to trial, no jury will ever hear the case.  It will be a bench trial alone.  You cannot deny an adult defendant the right to a trial by a jury of his peers.  The same goes for a child tried as an adult.  It will be impossible for this case to head to adult court I think.

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