Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tie-Wearing Defendants and The Influence of Appearance

"The Justice Ministry will allow defendants held in custody to wear a tie and shoes when appearing in court under the lay judge system to be introduced in May 2009, according to sources.

"Currently, people not on bail appearing in court are barred from wearing a tie and have to wear slip-on sandals, in an effort to discourage them from fleeing detention houses or attempting to commit suicide.

"However, some people argue that having defendants dress this way could make them look like criminals to lay judges and hurt their chances of a fair trial.

"The sources said the ministry also has decided to permit defendants to sit next to their attorney during trials."

By Yomiuri Shimbun (3/22/2008), Link to article (last visited 3/23/2008)

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