253: Phoenix Wright's Objection!

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Wow.

The thing that's always, always bothered me about the PW games is the burden of proof. A prosecutor only has to suggest a theory and every time, every chapter, every trial it's up to the poor attourney to find actual hard evidence to disprove that spurious theory. Now i'm not saying that's what happens in a Japanes courtroom, but from reading this article I'm curious as to how far from the truth is that?

You've given me a lot to ponder, thank you.

Very nice article. I always knew the games reflect the Japanese legal system but I did not know all the details as outlined in this article. Let's hope the system really changes for the good. Nobody should be sentenced for something he didn't do, no matter in what country.

Where I live the condemnations are often too lightly and it is very hard to put people with a little wealth behind bars.

Maybe it is related to the fact that Brazil is in southwest and Japan in northeast, total opposition.

Excellent article. As a big fan of the Ace Attorney series and a lifelong student of Japanese culture, I was surprised to learn about the real-life connection. It just goes to show you how even a great localization can be misleading. The game material and other sources emphasize how the court system depicted in the games is fictional, so I never even gave it a second thought. I always admired the games for being well written and intelligent (while also being hyperbolic and fun-loving) and this new connection makes me admire the team even more for their boldness. When I first heard of the games all those years ago, I thought it was supposed to be wacky, like they tried to pick the most unlikely occupation for a main character for kicks. But now get it... Phoenix Wright is like the legal Dark Knight!

I'd really love to read more from this author.

Very interesting. Sounds an awful lot like the system in China. Only China's is worse. I know of people who are working to change that too though. A friend of mine, a law professor there, is working on reform, mostly regarding prisoners rights. Like you were saying about Japan, right now in China there are no rules about how interrogations are conducted. Lawyers are never present, and coercion and sometimes flat our beatings and torture are often used as means of securing a confession. Reform is a slow but worthwhile process. Glad Japan is coming around.

Ravek:
Typical how the author suggests that the best way to fix it is a jury system, which is probably the single worst idea in American court proceedings.

This.

Iceland (my homeland) doesn't have a Jury system. Instead their are a number of judges who decide if or not the person on trial is guilty or not.

I have never understood why anyone would want to allow a bunch of random people who know nothing about the law (besides basic shit that everybody knows) be the deciding factor in tough criminal cases. If the person judging me is biased, then I would much rather get screwed by a biased judge who knows shit instead of some wanker who lives around the corner.

turbo_girl:
Phoenix Wright is like the legal Dark Knight!

At least until he gets disbarred.

image

So I guess it's a good thing that Japan has the lowest crime rate in the world? Less innocents jailed, more incompetent police? Not entirely sure what to think.

Such a great series, but hard to believe it resembles the law system anywhere. Scary, letting a single person judge your innocence in a real courtroom. And forcing people to make false confessions, wtf is the point?

I enjoyed this article. Thank you.

Hardcore_gamer:

Ravek:
Typical how the author suggests that the best way to fix it is a jury system, which is probably the single worst idea in American court proceedings.

This.

Iceland (my homeland) doesn't have a Jury system. Instead their are a number of judges who decide if or not the person on trial is guilty or not.

I have never understood why anyone would want to allow a bunch of random people who know nothing about the law (besides basic shit that everybody knows) be the deciding factor in tough criminal cases. If the person judging me is biased, then I would much rather get screwed by a biased judge who knows shit instead of some wanker who lives around the corner.

"Grass is always greener on my side of the fence?", to mutilate the saying. I'd rather have 12 of my peers have to all agree that I'm guilty, then one guy dispensing justice. Also, once you enter the appeals process, the appelate courts are jury-less, with anywhere from 3 to 9 judges presiding anyway.

I could find common ground, and just use a 7-9 judge system straight out of the door. But one guy being "judge, jury and executioner"; ie giving out the sentence, is a terrifying concept to me.

the quote from the attorney on the first page had me baffled...

all i know is that i would really hate being in japan and be accused of murder.

maninahat:

If you are charged with a crime in Japan and brought to trial, statistics show that there is a 99 percent chance that you will be convicted. This alarming statistic reveals the highly dysfunctional legal system from which the Ace Attorney series clearly takes its inspiration; a system where even a victim of false allegations finds it impossible to escape conviction.

Wait a minute, before we start misleading people with the statistics. The high percentage could simply refer to the fact that police do not trial individuals unless they are sure they have compiled enough evidence to guarantee a conviction. Whilst other countries do not have a percentage as high, the police in most countries will try to avoid expensive trials as much as possible unless tehy have everything they need to prove the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If at the end of a trial, someone is found innocent, it means the police investigation and criminal process has been a waste of money (they were chasing the wrong guys and they could have spent that money persuing real criminals).

I have to agree with this. The biggest problem I have is the lack of any cited reference in the article. I could just as easily say 86% of people on the Escapist right now are wearing their pants on their head and pitch it as truth.

Great... You made me want to continue on the Ace Attorney series... After the 32-hour playthrough of the first one, I'd say... No... Must... Resist...
...
...

Gah! I'll pickup the next one! Screw my subjects! Screw the exams! Screw them! I'll just play as a defense attorney!

maninahat:
If at the end of a trial, someone is found innocent, it means the police investigation and criminal process has been a waste of money (they were chasing the wrong guys and they could have spent that money persuing real criminals).

No matter how early or late you bring a (potential) criminal to trial, there will always be police resources wasted trying to sort out who is guilty and who isn't.

Or to put that another way: The police-work involved in making sure that the ones they bring to trial are 99% likely to be guilty is higher than the standard police work necessary to bring people to trial in other countries = Resources are wasted regardless, and in this case 99% of all cases.

That's of course assuming that your preposition about their system is true, and it isn't just a bad legal system.

This makes the games much more interesting, good article.

This is one of my favorite articles. :)

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