SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The Supreme Court of Korea is developing a program through which members of the public can experience and learn about the criminal sentencing process, in a move to gain public trust in the country’s criminal justice system.
The education initiative, currently in development, was unveiled to the public today at the Supreme Court of Korea building, and is designed to give both desktop web and mobile web users access to an online criminal sentencing experience program where people can learn and virtually participate in the sentencing process.
The latest move from the Supreme Court of Korea comes after criticism of the country’s legal system in recent years, following criminal cases such as that of child rapist Cho Doo-soon where many thought the punishment didn’t really fit the crime.
Participants in the program will be given video footage to watch, hear opinions from the defendant, the counsel, and the prosecutor, and will have a chance to contemplate the sentencing of a criminal on their own based on the records and evidence presented, before delivering a verdict.
The results will then be compared with the verdicts from actual cases, which will help give the public a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system.
Though judges contemplate numerous records in criminal trials and deliver a verdict based on sentencing guidelines, instead of their own judgment, the public often watches the news and ends up disagreeing with a judge’s ruling, particularly in sensitive and controversial cases.
In the case of Cho Doo-soon, whose 12-years sentence was widely seen as a slap on the wrist, over 380,000 signatures were collected on the Blue House’s official online petition site in an attempt to block Cho from being released from prison.
With skepticism about the criminal justice system on the rise, and many believing that court decisions often fail to reflect the public sentiment against heinous criminals, the new education program is expected to help reshape the damaged public trust.
“By analyzing and comparing the results from the sentencing experience program, we hope to get a better understanding of the public sentiment towards the criminal sentencing process,” an official from the Supreme Court of Korea said.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)