• Kyodo News


The number of criminal cases last year that would have been tried under the upcoming lay judge system totaled 2,324, the Supreme Court said Friday.

The figure indicates that one out of 5,590 eligible voters would be picked to serve as citizen judges, according to a Kyodo News estimate.

Under the new system, six citizens will try serious criminal cases, including murder, at district courts along with three professional judges. A verdict will be established by majority decision by the nine-member panel.

The estimate shows that the probability of becoming a lay judge is highest for those who live in areas under the Osaka District Court’s jurisdiction, at one out of 2,921 eligible voters, while those who live in areas covered by the Yamagata District Court face the lowest probability, at one out of 17,460.

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