Authors: Jae-Hyup Lee, Jisuk Woo, June Woong Rhee, Jeong Min Choi, and Hyunki Shin
The results demonstrate that the shadow jurors in general actively participated in the deliberation process by speaking in turn, and were respectful toward other jurors in debate. The jury forepersons positively played their role by giving jurors equal chance to talk and managed the discussion well. Misunderstanding of law and the intermingling of facts relevant to conviction or sentencing were not as frequent as many people expected: when such problems occurred, they were most often corrected through the intervention of other jurors or judges. Most judges were helpful in jurors’ reaching a verdict in the jury room. Also there was no definitive relationship between the size of the jury and the quality of deliberation. On the other hand, the shadow jurors tended to state their initial positions early in the deliberation process without fully discussing the issues first. They oftentimes made arguments not based on evidence. In addition, jurors’ emotions affected decision-making in some instances.
Although encouraging aspects as well as areas for improvement coexist, the overall quality of jury deliberation in Korea, as evidenced by this study, is positive. Over time, the Korean jury system is expected to be firmly established as a robust institution to increase democratic participation of the lay people and to enhance the credibility of the judiciary.