[sumo] Death at Tokitukaze beya - Time Line
barbara at technogirls.org
Mon Oct 1 15:01:50 EDT 2007
Joe Petrow wrote:
> Had the investigation into the death yielded results more quickly, as
> in before the end of the Nagoya basho, the Kyokai's perspective may
> have changed, and Asa's actions may have resulted in nothing more than
Investigation in Japan moves slowly. The justice system there is fairly
unique in developed countries. The primary agency determining guilt is
the police and prosecution, not the jury. The panel of judges plays, in
reality, the role of simply determining whether the original
determination of guilt was done in a correct and professional manner.
Therefore the rate of guilty "verdicts" ends up being greater than 99%,
obviously not a true adversarial judicial system at all. Often the rare
cases of a "not guilty" determination are actually cases in which an
extracted confession can be shown to have been made-up by the defendant!
The primary goal of the police is to extract a confession, if possible.
To that end, severe incarceration for long periods (even 6 months)
with 15-hour a day interrogations, and near-total isolation from the
outside world is a fairly common occurrence. In the view of the police,
it is the duty of a guilty citizen to salvage their honor by providing a
full and accurate confession and humbly accepting punishment.
The police know their power, and slowness in investigation reflects a
desire to develop as certain a case as possible.
Some aspects of the Japanese judicial system are targeted for reform,
specifically by inclusion of "citizen judges" along with the
professional judges in the case of the most serious crimes, such as
causing death by negligence. But I believe that such reforms are not in
place yet and so they will not apply in the current case.
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