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(Japan Today)   Female lay judge to sue over stress caused by crime scene photos, said she "was not mentally prepared to see grisly photos"   (japantoday.com) divider line 75
    More: Dumbass, lay judges, Reporter of Decisions  
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7500 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Apr 2013 at 10:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-20 10:26:14 PM  
Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?
 
2013-04-20 10:26:25 PM  
Seems like a really dumb way to handle such cases:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judge
 
2013-04-20 10:26:26 PM  
Female lay judge to sue over stress caused by crime scene photos, said she "was not mentally prepared to see grisly photos"

I don't get it. Is this just plain old sexism baiting?
 
2013-04-20 10:28:36 PM  
I don't know shiat about Japanese law, but here you are typically screened during jury selection that evidence will be graphic. And no one would win that suit here.
 
2013-04-20 10:32:41 PM  

cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?


It's okay. Japanese cops have almost two months to beat a written confession out you and the embassy and lawyers can't come see you without their permission. And the really bad guys who cross the yakuza will probably get "pneumonia" and die before trial anyway.

So really, learning on the job is probably gonna be okay.
 
2013-04-20 10:32:48 PM  
Japan's lay judge system allows citizens to be more than passive putty in the hands of prosecutors and defense attorneys. Professional judges are on the panel to interpret law and rule on procedure.  A guilty verdict must include at least one professional judge..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judges_in_Japan#Process
 
2013-04-20 10:34:20 PM  
did someone say new grudge movie prologue
 
2013-04-20 10:34:55 PM  

MrEricSir: Female lay judge to sue over stress caused by crime scene photos, said she "was not mentally prepared to see grisly photos"

I don't get it. Is this just plain old sexism baiting?


It's an artifact from the translation. In Japanese, they often place a "female" prefix onto job titles.
 
2013-04-20 10:44:22 PM  

itsfullofstars: Seems like a really dumb way to handle such cases:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judge


And here I was assuming that it was a mistranslation of "juror."
 
2013-04-20 10:52:20 PM  
Moar liek lame judge, amirite?

/sorry
 
2013-04-20 10:54:52 PM  

cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?


Or is it a great idea, which tries to bring the law back to something the average citizen can relate to, rather than an over-complicated cash cow for lawyers?
 
2013-04-20 11:06:23 PM  

whatshisname: cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?

Or is it a great idea, which tries to bring the law back to something the average citizen can relate to, rather than an over-complicated cash cow for lawyers?


Yeah. This. There will be problems, but there are problems with systems without lay judges.
 
2013-04-20 11:09:22 PM  
Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 20?

A: Your Honour
 
2013-04-20 11:10:44 PM  
My first photo teacher was a retired police crime scene photographer. Had a great eye and appreciation for detail, and was incredibly pleasant. All of which kinda made sense.
 
2013-04-20 11:11:06 PM  

cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?


It is just you.  This is a juror and yes you are an idiot.
 
2013-04-20 11:11:48 PM  

whatshisname: cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?

Or is it a great idea, which tries to bring the law back to something the average citizen can relate to, rather than an over-complicated cash cow for lawyers?


I don't know about you, but I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about. But that's just me, I suppose.

Laws tend to get more complicated over time to make them fairer, fix problems, and to prevent abuse. Ambiguous and simple laws give lawyers more power, not less. But yeah, let's just throw random people with no idea about how any of it works up there and bombard them with complex issues, how could it go wrong?

Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.
 
2013-04-20 11:14:06 PM  
Meh, it's $16,000. Probably covers her therapy bill.
 
2013-04-20 11:14:43 PM  

tomerson: cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?

It is just you.  This is a juror and yes you are an idiot.


Well no, it's not a juror, but thanks for playing.
 
2013-04-20 11:16:08 PM  
Hey, with one human biology course in university, they ran out of regular biology profs so they dragged in the forensic entomologist from the criminology department. First three classes revolved around decomp, organisms that break down bodies, and a slideshow of both the body farm and her crime scene photos. Never expected to see a photo of a human head found in a ditch in a grocery bag or one that had been rolled up in carpets and stuffed under the floorboards in that kind of class.
 
2013-04-20 11:16:38 PM  

cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about



Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.

Don't be dense.
 
2013-04-20 11:19:50 PM  
Wouldn't the point of being a judge to be exactly so you COULD see grisly photos, read all the sick reports and, you know, decide what's too prejudicial to make it into evidence? Isn't that why a system even has judges? Otherwise, you'd just toss everything into the jury's lap and let them see everything and we wouldn't even have to have judges to say "No, I think showing the jury sixteen jars of pickled baby heads might cause the jury to disregard all the other evidence that would weigh in the defendant's favor."
 
2013-04-20 11:20:00 PM  

cptjeff: Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.


But the legal system has been complicated to the point where it's often useless. And many cases hinge on ambiguities, obfuscation and reinterpretations of the original intent. Reasonable doubt got OJ off, but it was anything but reasonable.
 
2013-04-20 11:23:06 PM  
They do not form a jury separate from the judges, like in a common law system, but participate in the trial as inquisitorial judges in accordance with civil law tradition who actively analyse and investigate evidences presented from defense and prosecutor.

Guh?  On American juries, the members of the jury do play an active role.  They can submit questions to the Court through notes, and they are always expected to actively analyze the evidence and arguments.

The Ministry of Justice specifically avoided using the term "jury" (Baishin-in) and use the term "lay judge" (Saiban-in) instead.

Ah, I see.  They decided to call a jury by another name so they could feel superior.
 
2013-04-20 11:23:38 PM  

cptjeff: whatshisname: cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?

Or is it a great idea, which tries to bring the law back to something the average citizen can relate to, rather than an over-complicated cash cow for lawyers?

I don't know about you, but I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about. But that's just me, I suppose.

Laws tend to get more complicated over time to make them fairer, fix problems, and to prevent abuse. Ambiguous and simple laws give lawyers more power, not less. But yeah, let's just throw random people with no idea about how any of it works up there and bombard them with complex issues, how could it go wrong?

Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.


I think I understand your point, but at least with lay judges the system becomes more flexible. The whole point of a judge is to judge the applicability of a law and to weigh whether a person is a dick or just made a mistake. Codifying all of the little details into a law makes it less easy for lawyers to manipulate, but it also makes judges kind of superfluous.

I think I like the lay system better than the jury system. While both have their problems, at least with the lay system, the community/society has a bigger say in how laws are applied.
 
2013-04-20 11:25:38 PM  

HotWingAgenda: They do not form a jury separate from the judges, like in a common law system, but participate in the trial as inquisitorial judges in accordance with civil law tradition who actively analyse and investigate evidences presented from defense and prosecutor.

Guh?  On American juries, the members of the jury do play an active role.  They can submit questions to the Court through notes, and they are always expected to actively analyze the evidence and arguments.

The Ministry of Justice specifically avoided using the term "jury" (Baishin-in) and use the term "lay judge" (Saiban-in) instead.

Ah, I see.  They decided to call a jury by another name so they could feel superior.


No. They call them lay judges because they aren't juries. How does that mean they want to feel superior?
 
2013-04-20 11:26:38 PM  

whatshisname: cptjeff: Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

But the legal system has been complicated to the point where it's often useless. And many cases hinge on ambiguities, obfuscation and reinterpretations of the original intent. Reasonable doubt got OJ off, but it was anything but reasonable.


If you want to complain about complexities in the law, reasonable doubt is not exactly the place to start. That's embedded in the most ancient parts of the common law, and is pretty fundamental to the system, so it would remain regardless. OJ gets off regardless of whether you simplify the tax code to make it more readable, or straighten out some of the details in criminal procedure. He got off because his lawyers convinced the jury that there was enough ambiguity in the evidence to make a reasonable scenario where he didn't do it.
 
2013-04-20 11:31:50 PM  

whatshisname: cptjeff: Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

But the legal system has been complicated to the point where it's often useless. And many cases hinge on ambiguities, obfuscation and reinterpretations of the original intent. Reasonable doubt got OJ off, but it was anything but reasonable.


Agreed. The average jury tends to believe that "reasonable doubt" means "if there was some way the defendant might not have done it, then he has to be found not guilty" (which is what happened in the Simpson case); or alternatively "if any one aspect of the prosecution's case could be explained in another way, then that means their whole case entirely falls apart."

On the flip side, if a defendant is unsympathetic or the case is particularly heinous, the prosecution can often get away with something like "Well, we have lots of holes in our case, but since the defendant can't imagine any other way it could have happened, ours is the most reasonable way it could  have occurred" which ALSO isn't the definition of reasonable doubt. Lawyers don't help in either case, because their jury instructions usually read like detailed instructions on how to build the Labyrinth translated into Chinese from the English translation of the original Bulgarian.

A better definition of "reasonable doubt" and "burden of proof" would go a long way towards solving both problems.
 
2013-04-20 11:32:26 PM  

cptjeff: whatshisname: cptjeff: Seriously, not everything can be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

But the legal system has been complicated to the point where it's often useless. And many cases hinge on ambiguities, obfuscation and reinterpretations of the original intent. Reasonable doubt got OJ off, but it was anything but reasonable.

If you want to complain about complexities in the law, reasonable doubt is not exactly the place to start. That's embedded in the most ancient parts of the common law, and is pretty fundamental to the system, so it would remain regardless. OJ gets off regardless of whether you simplify the tax code to make it more readable, or straighten out some of the details in criminal procedure. He got off because his lawyers convinced the jury that there was enough ambiguity in the evidence to make a reasonable scenario where he didn't do it.


Good point. I agree that reasonable doubt is fundamental, and I guess that with a stupid enough jury you can convince them that it is possible that aliens planted the DNA evidence or whatever.

My beef is with a legal system that's been tailored to the highest bidder.
 
2013-04-20 11:40:06 PM  

doglover: cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about


Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.


Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?
 
2013-04-20 11:41:42 PM  
Maybe Japan does not have a daily grind of horrific crime scenes like we have across America. Gruesome disturbing photographs should have an impact on people and it won't be a positive one.
 
2013-04-20 11:47:48 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: doglover: cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about


Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.

Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?


Where does it say that lay-judges get to go off on their own digging up additional evidence not presented in court?  Even professional judges don't have that option.  All I can find are statements that lay-judges analyze the evidence, which is a role traditionally allotted to a jury.
 
2013-04-20 11:49:51 PM  
I used to wonder this with juries if there was a way to seek counseling after a particularly disturbing case. I used to work in the federal court system, and while most cases were drug or white collar cases every now and again there would be a particularly nasty case that would come across involving murder or child pornography. I can only imagine what it could be like sitting on one of those cases as a juror and not being fully prepared for what they are going to see.
 
2013-04-20 11:58:36 PM  
She also said that the stress of making decisions was unfair to her and a construct of the Patriarchy.
 
2013-04-21 12:05:48 AM  
I saw some horrible things the one time I was a juror but I never once considered suing the county. It's what you have to do from time to time.
 
2013-04-21 12:06:12 AM  

whatshisname: My beef is with a legal system that's been tailored to the highest bidder.


Then you're barking up the wrong tree. That's indeed a problem, but getting rid of complexities in the law wouldn't. Ambiguity empowers lawyers, and the more influence lawyering has, the more power money has. Ideally, you want lawyers to be constrained and strong judges equipped and empowered to stand up to them. You want the judge to know all the tricks, not none of them, since a pretty substantial portion of their job is recognizing those tricks and cutting through the BS to achieve a just result.
 
2013-04-21 12:14:53 AM  

cptjeff: whatshisname: My beef is with a legal system that's been tailored to the highest bidder.

Then you're barking up the wrong tree. That's indeed a problem, but getting rid of complexities in the law wouldn't. Ambiguity empowers lawyers, and the more influence lawyering has, the more power money has. Ideally, you want lawyers to be constrained and strong judges equipped and empowered to stand up to them. You want the judge to know all the tricks, not none of them, since a pretty substantial portion of their job is recognizing those tricks and cutting through the BS to achieve a just result.


It used to be more like that. Judges used to run their courtrooms, not just sit back and be spinelessly "impartial". An impartial judge is not one who lets attorneys run all over the legal system, imo. But I'm not a judge. Probably a good thing, because I'd be telling attorneys to get to the farking point and stop wasting everyone's time with endless suppositions.
 
2013-04-21 12:21:48 AM  

HotWingAgenda: BarkingUnicorn: doglover: cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about


Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.

Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?

Where does it say that lay-judges get to go off on their own digging up additional evidence not presented in court?  Even professional judges don't have that option.  All I can find are statements that lay-judges analyze the evidence, which is a role traditionally allotted to a jury.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judges_in_Japan#Process

It is an inquisitorial system as opposed to our adversarial system.  The judges get to ask questions of both sides, not just keep the peace between them.  The questioning unearths additional evidence.
 
2013-04-21 12:37:25 AM  
Lay judge?

Does she score how well you fark?
 
2013-04-21 12:59:59 AM  
I worked in forensics facing american child molestors for several years (Im in China chasing hackers now)

It really is quite traumatic

I am really glad I am out of America now and will never return or allow my children to be anywhere near that nation.

People will probably judge me for that decision but they did not see what I saw so I do not really give a shiat.
 
2013-04-21 01:04:14 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: HotWingAgenda: BarkingUnicorn: doglover: cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about


Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.

Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?

Where does it say that lay-judges get to go off on their own digging up additional evidence not presented in court?  Even professional judges don't have that option.  All I can find are statements that lay-judges analyze the evidence, which is a role traditionally allotted to a jury.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judges_in_Japan#Process

It is an inquisitorial system as opposed to our adversarial system.  The judges get to ask questions of both sides, not just keep the peace between them.  The questioning unearths additional evidence.


Again, as noted up-thread, American juries ask questions of both sides through notes from the jury.  They do not get to go off digging up evidence that has not been presented, nor does any judge.  American judges do have the discretion to conduct their own direct examinations of witnesses, but only in special situations like a rape victim or a five-year-old murder witness, where they can't risk an attorney badgering them.
 
2013-04-21 01:08:13 AM  

cptjeff: getting rid of complexities in the law wouldn't. Ambiguity empowers lawyers


you do not find this contradictory ?

get rid of the complexities reduces complexity

Sharia law (which I find extremely offensive as would anyone else who is sane) has very few complexities and is very difficult for lawyers to argue with.

We as civilized people need to find a balance between Sharia law (which I again state I hate) and western law (which I find overly ambiguous).

How about we do this....

All laws must fit on one page.

The bill of rights fits on one page and I think that should be a good foundation and demonstration of my point.

// granted, you have to reduce the font size hehehe, but I proudly hang that on my office wall, even though I am not American.
 
2013-04-21 01:12:29 AM  

cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?


Huh? You do the same in the US daily it's called JURY DUTY.

ciberido: And here I was assuming that it was a mistranslation of "juror."


It's not a mistranslation in the sense that there are subtle differences in the system. But generally, yes, you're talking about a juror.  It's basically jury duty. Except you confer with the main judge (so yeah technically you're a judge too, on the panel). Also you get to talk about the punishment (US jury doesn't). But as for how people see it? It's jury duty.

/just went to a lecture on it, I love living in a college town
//I have (exotic! in my circles) US citizenship so people were really interested to see my jury summons I got last month :P
 
2013-04-21 01:23:54 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?


I dunno. Everything I've heard about the Japanese legal system is "DO NOT GET ARRESTED"

Maybe the lay judge stuff helps. Maybe not. I'm afraid to ask. I still have to live here, dude.
 
2013-04-21 01:25:40 AM  

HotWingAgenda: BarkingUnicorn: HotWingAgenda: BarkingUnicorn: doglover: cptjeff: I want the judge to understand what the fark the lawyers are talking about


Japan doesn't have a jury sytem. They used to have only three professional judges. The lay-judge system is really just a take on jury systems without calling it that.

Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?

Where does it say that lay-judges get to go off on their own digging up additional evidence not presented in court?  Even professional judges don't have that option.  All I can find are statements that lay-judges analyze the evidence, which is a role traditionally allotted to a jury.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lay_judges_in_Japan#Process

It is an inquisitorial system as opposed to our adversarial system.  The judges get to ask questions of both sides, not just keep the peace between them.  The questioning unearths additional evidence.

Again, as noted up-thread, American juries ask questions of both sides through notes from the jury.  They do not get to go off digging up evidence that has not been presented, nor does any judge.  American judges do have the discretion to conduct their own direct examinations of witnesses, but only in special situations like a rape victim or a five-year-old murder witness, where they can't risk an attorney badgering them.


And the advantage of this American system is what?
 
2013-04-21 01:45:01 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: And the advantage of this American system is what?


It doesn't have a 99% conviction rate.
 
2013-04-21 01:45:04 AM  

itazurakko: cptjeff: Is it just me, or is having a system where people who don't know shiat about the law are tossed up onto the stand as judges a really stupid idea?

Huh? You do the same in the US daily it's called JURY DUTY.

ciberido: And here I was assuming that it was a mistranslation of "juror."

It's not a mistranslation in the sense that there are subtle differences in the system. But generally, yes, you're talking about a juror.  It's basically jury duty. Except you confer with the main judge (so yeah technically you're a judge too, on the panel). Also you get to talk about the punishment (US jury doesn't). But as for how people see it? It's jury duty.

/just went to a lecture on it, I love living in a college town
//I have (exotic! in my circles) US citizenship so people were really interested to see my jury summons I got last month :P


Juries are not the same as judges. Juries do not get consulted on standards of evidence, procedural rules, so on and so forth. Those things may sound boring, but they're actually really farking important to ensuring a fair trial.

Slartibartfaster: you do not find this contradictory ?


No. You can make simple laws that are clear. These are usually horrendously unjust. If you want short laws that aren't massively unjust, you have to build in a huge amount of gray area and judicial discretion. Which empowers lawyers and drives up costs. You cite the Bill of Rights as an ideal- do you realize just how farking unclear that is? Do you realize just how much ink gets spilled every day arguing about the meaning of individual words? If you wanted to pick something that reduces the power of lawyers and makes it easier to understand, well, you picked the wrong farking example. Litigation involving a disputed interpretation of the Bill of Rights gets massively expensive.

The law is simply not something that can be reduced to the level of any Joe Shmuck. In a civilized society, we settle disputes through law. And guess what? Human relationships are complex. Technology is complex. Sharia law can't deal with a complex intellectual property dispute.

Get back to me when you a rudimentary understanding of how the law actually works. A business law course going over some general legal principles and contracts never hurt anybody.
 
2013-04-21 01:45:52 AM  

doglover: BarkingUnicorn: Except lay judges get to question lawyers and dig up additional evidence, right?

I dunno. Everything I've heard about the Japanese legal system is "DO NOT GET ARRESTED"

Maybe the lay judge stuff helps. Maybe not. I'm afraid to ask. I still have to live here, dude.


Well, "don't get arrested" is recommended everywhere.

The Japanese lay judge system employs six lay and three pro judges. At least one pro judge must vote for conviction.  Seems you can get the best of both worlds.

The main criticism of the system arises from laws which shortened the length of trials involving lay judges to a few weeks max.
 
2013-04-21 01:51:09 AM  

doglover: BarkingUnicorn: And the advantage of this American system is what?

It doesn't have a 99% conviction rate.


Federal conviction rate was 93% in 2011.

It's been suggested that underfunded Japanese prosecutors bring charges only against the most obviously guilty.
 
2013-04-21 02:19:29 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: doglover: BarkingUnicorn: And the advantage of this American system is what?

It doesn't have a 99% conviction rate.

Federal conviction rate was 93% in 2011.

It's been suggested that underfunded Japanese prosecutors bring charges only against the most obviously guilty.


pictures.mastermarf.com
 
2013-04-21 02:30:57 AM  

doglover: BarkingUnicorn: doglover: BarkingUnicorn: And the advantage of this American system is what?

It doesn't have a 99% conviction rate.

Federal conviction rate was 93% in 2011.

It's been suggested that underfunded Japanese prosecutors bring charges only against the most obviously guilty.

[pictures.mastermarf.com image 600x258]


If you don't know any more than "do not get arrested" then why are you laughing?

Anyhow, conviction rates are poor indicators of how well legal systems separate the innocent from the guilty.
 
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