District Court Jews acquitted man of rape charges, sparking controversy over whole system – Laymen’s Association says debate gets out of hand

In their opinion paper, seven district judges called for the abolition of the jury system. The president of the Association of Lay Judges considers the system to be working.

Discourse The Finnish joiner system has been hot in recent days. It all started with a decision given by the Central Finnish District Court, in which the jurors voted to overturn the judge’s position in a rape trial. The district judge would have sentenced the man to prison for rape, but the jurors acquitted the man of the charges.

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The verdict sparked numerous critical views of the jury system. For example, a docent in forensic psychology Julia Korkman according to the grounds of the judgment sounded endless and raised the question of how the whole system works today.

Published in Helsingin Sanomat on Monday in the opinion paper seven district judges are calling for the abolition of the entire system.

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“The system does not add value to the resolution process, but slows down and even complicates the work of the courts. In addition, it compromises the independence of the judiciary, ”the judges write.

With a joiner’s system has a long tradition in Finland. Although the number of jurors has decreased over the years, they still have a place in the legal system.

This is the opinion of the chairman of the Finnish Association of Laymen Janne Heilimä.

“Our position is that the system works well. Everyone is an individual and everyone has freedom of speech in these matters. ”

According to Heilimä, the recent discussion has come from the merits of this one thing. At the same time, old decisions have begun to be unearthed and the jurors have been brought out in a very negative light.

The jurors also wrote their own about the incident and the ensuing discussion their opinionsaccording to which a single decision should not condemn the whole system.

“Two jurors and one judge will be cheaper than sessions of three district judges.”

According to Heilimä, there are many different opinions about lay judges among district judges. He himself, as a juror, has not met any judge who has opposed the system.

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“Every juror is different. A lot depends on how that cooperation with the district judge works. ”

According to Heilimä, there is a lot of good in the current system. For example, jurors bring to the district court knowledge and knowledge that judges may not have. This can be an in-depth knowledge of financial management, for example.

Jury system has been accused of taking money. With the same money, more judges could be hired in busy district courts, the district judges suggested in their opinion paper.

Heilimä takes the opposite view.

“Two jurors and one judge will be cheaper than sessions of three district judges. These costs are always invoked. ”

However, Heilimä himself sees what is being developed in the current situation. There is a need for more training and induction for lay judges, as understanding criminal law and outlining its laws is not an easy tick.

At present, there are another thousand lay judges in Finland. Jury members are appointed to the municipal council after the municipal election. The jurors to be appointed typically represent the party’s political distribution of the municipality.

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