A man has killed his employer and the employer’s wife. The jury deliberate over whether he should be given the death sentence or life imprisonment.
Juror 1: Death sentence.
Juror 2: He intended to kill them. Death.
Juror 3: He didn’t have an intention to kill them, so life imprisonment. If we don’t, his mother might commit suicide.
Juror 4: Life.
Juror 5: Death.
Chairman: So the consensus is, by 3 to 2, the death penalty, then.
So goes a mock retrial of a man who admitted to the crime. Japan prepares for adopting a jury system composed of six lay judges (裁判員)and three professional judges beginning in May 2009.
The mock trial on NHK caused lively discussion and drew comments like “dreading the responsibility.”