2/11/2008

New Public Defender System Successful

The Law Times, a Korean language law newspaper, reported that the new public defender system, initiated a few years back, has received positive reviews by defendants and judges.

The court system recruited attorneys, throughout Korea, with at least 2 years experience in criminal matters. Many of the attorneys had numerous years of experience and have been noted for zealously advocating for defendants.

A criminal judge at the Seoul Central District Court noted, "High-quality trials are possible now, since the public defenders eagerly argue whatever could be beneficial to the accused in every case.”

Shim Hoon-Jong, a 72 year-old public defender stated that: "Working as a public defender is so valuable. At first I started this work with a thought that I will just volunteer, but now I feel so happy and satisfied."

Mr. Shim received a letter from a convict sentenced to death. The death row inmate who was accused of attacking a prison guard wrote "I have not ever seen anyone who treated me with such humanity like this. Thank you for treating me well.”

Attorney Shim said that it is possible for attorneys to treat defendants with humanity, since work as a public defender is for the public good and not for fees.

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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com