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2013年6月17日 (月)

ストーカー殺人 理不尽な凶行に極刑が下った

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 17, 2013
Court’s capital punishment ruling in stalker-murder case realistic
ストーカー殺人 理不尽な凶行に極刑が下った(6月16日付・読売社説)

Considering the ferocity of the crime and the outrageousness of the perpetrator’s motive, as well as the improbability of rehabilitation, the court had no other choice but to hand down a death sentence Friday in a stalking case in Nagasaki Prefecture.

In a lay judge trial at the Nagasaki District Court in a case known as the Nagasaki stalking-murder incident in Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture, in December 2011, a panel of three professional and six citizen judges sentenced the defendant to death as requested by the prosecution.

The defendant was accused of murder and other charges in the killing of the mother and grandmother of a woman acquaintance, his former girlfriend, whom he repeatedly stalked. He committed the crime after breaking into the home of the mother and grandmother in Saikai in an attempt to have the woman return to him, according to the ruling.

Desire to possess woman

Regarding the motivation of the defendant, the court decision said he committed the felony as he was “preoccupied with his desire to possess and control the woman.”

This may be a common trait in stalking offenses. It is only natural that the district court determined the man’s actions were “extremely egoistic and unreasonable.”

In the ruling, the court said it considered the defendant’s behavior before and after the killings in great detail.

In the past, the accused had repeatedly stalked two women other than the one at the center of the Saikai incident, the court noted.

In the place he was being detained after his arrest, he wrote in a notebook such things as “I’ll kill anybody who places obstacles in my way” and “I’m resolved to get the woman back even by using others.”

Although he pleaded not guilty, the defendant repeated irrational explanations that were defamatory and distressing to the bereaved family members of the victims.

In view of this behavior, it is quite reasonable for the court to reach the conclusion that there was no hope the defendant could be rehabilitated.

In her testimony, the stalked woman tearfully told the court, “Although I desperately wanted police to protect me, they failed to apprehend him.” The incident has taught the police many lessons about what they should do in stalking cases.

The woman and her relatives talked to officers from the three prefectural police departments of Chiba, Mie and Nagasaki about their fears, but the three prefectural police departments failed to share their information.

In particular, Chiba prefectural police officials delayed accepting the complaints and instead went off on a pleasure trip to Hokkaido before launching investigations. The police should do some serious soul-searching.

The antistalking law must be toughened. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito plan to jointly submit a bill for revising the law to the Diet.

Law must be strengthened

Currently, organs that have the power to issue a prohibition order or warning against stalking are limited to police in the area where a victim lives and the relevant prefectural public security commission. The proposed bill is designed to enable stalking victims to file complaints also with prefectural police and the public security commission in charge of the area where the offender lives and places where stalking occurs.

The planned bill is aimed at prompting every prefectural police department to take quick action in response to stalking offenses.

All prefectural police should eliminate the negative effects of the vertically segmented structure in their relations and act in coordination.

The number of stalking cases reported to police last year stood at a record-high 19,920, up 40 percent from the previous year.

Stalking offenses have a high rate of recidivism.

To prevent stalking tragedies like the one in Saikai from recurring, police should deal with cases by putting themselves in the victims’ shoes.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 16, 2013)
(2013年6月16日01時54分  読売新聞)


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