Ekaterina Khodzhaeva Zakon.ru: Do Judges Punish the Defendant’s Choice of the Trial by Jury? Evidences from Recent Jury Reform in Russia
Most studies in the USA show that judges grant severe penalties in trials especially in jury trails comparing the plea. In Russia, court statistics shows the similar trend has been performed as by regional courts since 2014 just in the context of the decline in both the jurisdiction of jury trials and the number of jury cases. However, since mid-2018, jury trials have expanded their jurisdiction on the district courts, causing large logistical and time costs. Jury in Russia grant the acquittals hundred times more frequently than professional judges alone and that stimulates defendants to jury trials. Simultaneously, the court statistics shows that district courts perform the jury penalty despite the jury leniency. Expert interviews with judges held in 2019-2021 discover that this sentencing policy has two main motives: first, to compensate with more severe punishment for the resources, time and risks that the defendant caused to judiciary and prosecution by his/her motion for a jury trial, and the second — use the policy of sentencing as a factor deterring other defendants from choosing a jury trial.