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2012年8月10日 (金)

発達障害判決 厳罰より支援の拡充が大切だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 10, 2012)
Court misjudged nature of developmental disorders
発達障害判決 厳罰より支援の拡充が大切だ(8月9日付・読売社説)

A recent ruling handed down by the Osaka District Court has made us wonder how well it understood the concept of developmental disorders in choosing such a severe punishment.
 発達障害の実情をどれだけ理解して厳罰を選択したのだろうか。

At a trial involving both lay and professional judges, a man in his 40s was sentenced to 20 years in prison for stabbing his elder sister to death--a penalty that exceeded the 16 years demanded by prosecutors.
 姉を刺殺した40歳代の男の裁判員裁判で、大阪地裁は、懲役16年の求刑を超える懲役20年の判決を言い渡した。

The court acknowledged that the defendant suffered Asperger's syndrome, a kind of developmental disorder, and handed down the maximum definite prison term for a murder charge.
被告を発達障害の一つのアスペルガー症候群と認定し、殺人罪の有期刑の上限を適用した。

"It is feared that the defendant would commit a crime again because society does not have institutions to deal with the disorder properly," the court said as one of the reasons for the sentence.
 「障害に対応できる受け皿が社会になく、再犯の恐れがある」というのが、判決の理由である。

"It is beneficial for society to place him in prison for the longest allowable period for the sake of maintaining social order," it added.
「許される限り長期間、刑務所に収容することが社会秩序の維持に資する」とも指摘した。

The defendant began confining himself to his home when he was a fifth-year primary school student. He believed his social withdrawal was caused by his sister and built up resentment against her, according to the ruling.
 被告は小学5年の頃から自宅に引きこもり、それを姉のせいだと思い込んで恨みを募らせた。

It is inexcusable that he stabbed to death his sister, who took care of him.
世話になった姉を刺殺するという犯行は、許されるものではない。

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Ruling too simplistic

However, it is too simplistic for the district court to think that it should impose a heavy penalty on the defendant and place him in prison for an extended period just because of a disorder he suffers. The ruling could encourage prejudice against people with developmental disorders.
 だが、障害を理由に重い刑を科し、刑務所に長く収監しておこうという考えは、短絡に過ぎよう。障害者への偏見を助長しかねない判決と言える。

The defendant's disorder was discovered through a psychiatric examination conducted by prosecutors following the incident.
 被告の障害は事件後、検察側の精神鑑定で判明した。

People with Asperger's syndrome, believed to be caused by a congenital disorder in the brain, often find it difficult to develop interpersonal relationships. They also tend to have difficulty demonstrating empathy and expressing their own feelings. However, these characteristics are not directly linked to antisocial behavior.
 脳機能障害が原因とされるアスペルガー症候群の人は、対人関係の構築が難しい。相手の心情をくんだり、自分の内面を表現したりするのが苦手だが、反社会的行動に直接結びつくわけではない。

The ruling has made us doubt whether the professional judges involved in the trial took appropriate steps so the lay judges could properly understand what Asperger's syndrome is.
 裁判員に障害の特性を正しく理解してもらうために、裁判官は十分な対応をとったのか、首をかしげざるを得ない。

The ruling's conclusion that the defendant had not shown deep remorse for his act is also questionable. For people with Asperger's syndrome, it is difficult to express their profound remorse even if they do feel responsible for what they did. We wonder if the court made such a conclusion after fully examining the syndrome's characteristics.
 判決が「被告は十分な反省に至っていない」と断じた点にも疑問が残る。深く反省していても、それをうまく表現できないアスペルガー症候群の特性を慎重に検討したうえでの判断だったのか。

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Contrary to social efforts

It is also puzzling that the ruling recognized that society has yet to properly deal with those with developmental disorders.
 障害者の「受け皿がない」という現状認識も、不可解だ。

Since 2005, when a law that aims to provide support for people suffering from these disorders was put into effect, support centers have opened nationwide to offer counseling. Support centers of another type have also been set up to provide assistance, such as job placement, to people with these disorders who have been released from prison to help them keep from reoffending.
 2005年の発達障害者支援法施行後、全国に支援センターが設置され、相談に応じている。刑務所を出た障害者らの再犯を防ぐため、就労支援などを行う施設も開設された。

The ruling could discourage such efforts to help them.
 こうした援助の動きにも水を差す判決と言えるだろう。

It is only natural that support groups for people with developmental disorders have criticized the ruling as being based on a misinterpretation of the facts and a lack of understanding of such disorders.
 障害者支援団体から「事実誤認と無理解に基づく判決」との批判が出ているのも、無理はない。

To rehabilitate people with developmental disorders who committed crimes, it is necessary for facilities related to welfare, medical services, education and labor to cooperate much more with each other to provide such offenders with better assistance in such areas as housing and jobs.
 罪を犯した障害者を立ち直らせるには、福祉、医療、教育、労働の各施設が地域で連携を強化し、住居や就労などの支援体制をさらに拡充することが必要だ。

We believe that prisons also should examine providing rehabilitation programs tailored for inmates with developmental disorders.
 刑務所においても、発達障害に対応した矯正プログラムなどの整備を検討すべきではないか。

It is crucial for society to better understand developmental disorders and offer holistic support to those who suffer from them, rather than imposing severe punishments on them.
 厳罰よりも、障害者への理解をさらに深め、社会全体で支えていく姿勢が何より大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 9, 2012)
(2012年8月9日01時28分  読売新聞)

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