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Case Assessment Officers to Prevent Unjustifiable Sentences

Case Assessment Officers to Prevent Unjustifiable Sentences

Posted October. 20, 2004 23:01,   


Immediate sentencing and summary trials will be abolished and replaced with a new trial system to deal with minor offenses according to the Judiciary Reform Committee under the Supreme Court of Korea. An announcement was made on October 20 that it has decided to abolish summary indictment—in which prosecutors demand a written trial in the case of minor offenses involving fines—and immediate sentencing by a police chief involving fines below 200,000 won.

“The Judiciary Reform Committee’s number two subdivision already reached an agreement on related measures to diversify the system of dealing with criminal cases, and it is almost certain that the abolishment will be determined in the plenary session of the committee,” said a person concerned with the committee. The committee is also reported to be introducing a system for appointing officials who will collect referential information helpful for assessing cases and their penalties. This is to prevent unjustifiable sentences. If introduced, a dependent will be arranged to meet a case assessment officer for investigation regarding motive, growing background, and property status. Based on the report by the officer, a judge will determine the penalty.

Along with that, in order to present standards of assessing cases as reference points for judges, the committee has also decided to adopt a system for setting standards for case assessment. This system is designed to categorize elements of case assessment statistically according to the nature of particular crimes such as car accidents. The Supreme Court decided to open the standard to the public so that the new system would gain more trust. In case of a sentence contrary to the standard, the Supreme Court makes the judge add written comments about the reason in order to prevent unjustifiable sentences.