Jurists Banned from Gang Rape Trial “For Hating Sex Crime”

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A court preparing to try four men for a brutal gang rape has attracted criticism for excluding half the candidates for jury duty for such reasons as the fact that they were thought to have a “harsh attitude to sex crimes,” in the end settling on an all-male panel of 9.

The Nara prefecture court was preparing to try four men aged 21-23 on charges of gang raping and injuring a woman in her twenties they dragged into a station wagon, in what prosecutors say was a well planned and organised attack, with the gang going so far as to prepare a change of vehicles and number plates.

The men admit the circumstances of the attack, but each claims “it wasn’t me.”

Shaping up to be more controversial than the crime itself are the circumstances surrounding the selection of lay judges, the Japanese equivalent to jurors.

Japan only recently introduced a jury-like court system, with “lay judges” being selected from the general populace in order to serve as adjuncts to professional judges, in a system which is supposed to bring something of the liberal tradition of jury trials to Japan, which has long operated a system which critics say conspires to virtually guarantee conviction.

In this case, the first in the prefecture to use the new system, courts considered 49 candidates, 10 of whom were released from the obligation for the usual reasons.

Of the remaining 39, public prosecutors and the defence eliminated another 20, with candidates being ruled out for being “unsuitable” on such grounds as the fact that they were “old and likely to have a harsh attitude to sex crimes committed by youngsters” or that they “had relatives who were victims of sex crimes.”

The defence in fact succeeded in eliminating 16 candidates on the grounds that their inclusion might prejudice the trial against the accused. The prosecution eliminated 4.

When the court finally agreed on who was to judge the case, it had 3 professional judges and 6 lay judges, all of whom were male.

The defendants, though not admitting all the charges, are offering their “heartfelt” apologies along with ¥5,000,000 in compensation to the victim if she will but let them off the hook – Japanese courts allow judges to issue lenient sentences if victims accept compensation from defendants. If convicted of all charges they likely face lengthy prison sentences.

Apparently this court is operating on the same school of jurisprudence as the one which declared that a mentally disabled woman was incapable of accusing a man of rape

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105 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    People’s bias will show through once the defendants are proven guilty, if applicable, in the form of a harsher sentence.

    Unless they are somehow tricked into giving a guilty verdict, their “prejudice” against a particular type of crime theoretically shouldn’t shine through until the defendants’ guilt is proven.

    One should screen out individuals that will presume guilt, rather than those who will be harsh on the guilty. I realize that because of a “prejudiced” juror’s emotions will come into play there will be some overlap, but I believe that a distinction should be made… After all, if these coordinated gang-rapists are kept away from women a little extra I doubt it’ll do the world much harm…

    • Yes, because there’s a legitimate fear of that traumatic experience clouding their judgement.

      What you have to realise about criminal trials is, the prosecution has the police force and the judicial system to call on. They have a a stupendously huge pot of taxpayers’ money to fuck around with, and they’re not going to share anything that might shore up the defendants innocence. “Anything you do say may be used in court against you”, not “for you”. The accused has only their own money or legal aid to fight with, so they need every advantage they get. Don’t like, write to your local representative about increasing legal aid until it’s equal to the level of resources the government has.

      I can guarantee that anyone who seems unusually blase about sex crimes or at all misogynistic gets kicked out, too.

      As for the suggested pay-off, even if you’re completely innocent, can you really say you’re 100% sure you won’t get convicted by a jury? Humans are fallible, and if you have it, spending $50,000 to guarantee you don’t get your life wrecked for something you didn’t do is cheap, however small the chances.

  • Totally retarded for outrage against crimes to be of obstacle to ‘objective’ ruling. If anything, there should be MORE outrage against violent crimes, especially something as heinous as sexual crimes than anything.

    Legal systems in Japan is horrendously broken for giving way too much rights for criminals and too little protection and compensation for victims. Sadly, it’s one of the biggest things I hate about Japan other than its rampant racism and xenophobia.

    • “giving way too much rights for criminals”

      ahem, how do you say we determine who the criminal is? accused people have to have the same rights as anyone to be fair and not convict the wrong person. If you convict incorrectly not only do you have an innocent person in jail but the real criminal is out free.

      • Giving a fair trial is one thing, but if the criminals have already confessed, there’s just a blatantly large body of evidence, then that kind of nature should take its course instead of the constant tampering and ‘evening out’ of the procedures just for the sake of fairness alone.

        Convicting the right people is important of course, but being kicked out for ‘hating sex crime’? That kind of BS can only happen because of this overzealous idea that punishing blatant criminal acts, no matter how egregious should be balanced out. When that happens, what about the victim’s rights? What about their recourse? Of course, it’s merely an afterthought for this hackeneyed idea of ‘fairness’. The crime happening in the first place totally destroyed the sanctity of what’s fair to begin with.

      • And there is sometimes where people are called ‘criminals’ when the law is in error, as in the case of the statutory rape, ‘child sexual abuse’ and child pornography laws.

        Those 3 are NOT meant to protect children, but instead to keep them celibate by fiat of law. Not right, if I allow my daughters/sons to be sexually active, that should be MY CHOICE, not societies… actually, it’s not even my choice, it is THEIR choice to doink or not, no matter who they are doing it with.

  • 4 guys admit to being involved with the attemped gang rape, but each denies actually doing anything.
    They then offer her 5 million yen to forget the incident.
    And jury selection committee gets rid of most of the candidates because for 1 reason or another, they don’t like acts of gang rape.
    Someone doesn’t want those guys to go to jail.

  • Holy shit! They are offering the victim $50 000. They could have easily hired so many of the so called “health girls” that whore themselves out in Japan…

    Why rape when there’s plenty of cheap young whores to go around?

    • That’s the question I want to ask here. Hell, I can go out and within 10 minutes, find a willing female to doink if I know where to look…. something REEKS that if these men have that much money, they couldn’t find a willing call girl somewhere or ‘sex friend’.

  • Apparently in Japan, disapproving of violent gang-rape renders you unqualified to decide whether or not someone is guilty or innocent based on the evidence.

    While it’d be a no-brainer to remove militant feminists who might want to see ANY man punished for the crime from a jury, having a “harsh attitude to sex crimes” is just pure bullshit.

  • This kind of thing always gets undue harsh criticism. The entire point of the legal system is to ensure that they get a fair trial, which you can’t do if you have a jury that is openly prejudiced against the crime.

    Another point to consider is that this type of criticism shows a lack of faith in a system that is already most likely to convict than acquit; as well as a lack of faith in the prosecution’s ability to convince the jury to vote guilty.

  • Maybe sleep deprivation has deprived me of logic at the moment but….how should bias of the crime in question equate to a bias against the accused? I think most people would say right from the get go that sex without consent is bad. Murder is bad. Taking a leak in the salad bar at a restaurant is bad. And I mention these things without the addition of extenuating circumstances. The real question is, and purpose of a jury/judge, is to determine guilt or innocence through evidence presented. Not to determine if the crime the defendant is accused of is wrong. But…this is how things are ‘supposed’ to be handled, I guess. And things usually never tend to work out as they are ‘supposed’ to.

    • Bias against the crime in question can be bias against the accused because you can look at the accused, even though they are JUST BEING ACCUSED, as guilty of the thing even though they haven’t been convicted…. i.e. that the accusation is enough.

  • In America a stripper was hired by the lacrosse team at duke university.

    She said that she was violently gang raped and wanted to prosecute the team.

    Nancy Grace demonized the players to the point that they were getting death threats and being told to rot in prison.

    After a few months the stripper admitted she lied.

  • "The defendants, though not admitting all the charges, are offering their “heartfelt” apologies along with ¥5,000,000 in compensation to the victim if she will but let them off the hook"

    I read soooo many odd sounding news items here, only to find out it happened in the UK or the US or some place not even close to being Japan.
    But the above quote sure makes me not want to have to deal with the Japanese courts if that's the way they handle the logic in their courts.

    I wonder what the price for murder is? After all, it seems like gang rape is merely an expensive night out with the boys.

    • I don’t see the problem if the “victim” of the crime accepts it as compensation and decides to drop charges.

      She doesn’t get anything out of them going to jail. Or she can get $50,000. Ultimately, it’s up to the victim to press charges or not and only they know how “bad” the crime was.

      If a victim of crime doesn’t want to press charges, why would YOU want them to be charged? Clearly, they felt that they weren’t a victim or they got some sort of compensation.

      A victim of a murder is dead, so they can’t voice their opinion on the matter.

        • they raped her.
          rape is a crime.
          they should be punished for committing a crime.

          she doesnt want them to be punished but get talked to by a shrink?
          psychologist arent one-step fix- all magicians that can utter magic words to make people change their ways.
          is this bitch stupid?
          they have to see what prison is like so they never want to commit a crime again, does she not care if they do it to another girl?

        • Some would say that it is ‘unjust’…. but it’s really not.

          The fact is that if women were raised CORRECTLY, even when they were raped, they would be like “Okay, this was a bad thing, but do I REALLY want to ruin someone else’s life when it is MY CHOICE whether to allow this to ‘ruin’ my life or not? NO!”

          That is what my one cousin told the prosecutor who was trying to get her to testify against the boys who had raped her….. she told him flat out that she would only testify if the boys were put into treatment for psychological issues and NOT put into prison…. prosecutor refused, she told him “Fine, you just lost your witness!” and walked out.

          Women need to start realizing (men too) that it is THEIR CHOICE whether being forcibly raped (and that is the only real kind of rape that there is) ruins their lives, and that if they let it do that….. it’s their own fault.

        • ^ That.

          But it’s probably more fair to have a lenient sentence in such a case, without getting off the hook completely.

          They can give the offenders long hours of community service and what not, or maybe even a few months in the slammer.

          Like this the victim wont feel that he/she has just let the offender/s off with a slap on the hand.

          Like that even the really rich won’t be able to get off completely.

    • So what? The fact is that back in the ‘bad old days’, people were let off of crimes, even MURDER (as long as not premeditated), if they compensated the victim or the family of the victims, and it worked quite well in the 1500’s to 1800’s.

      Fact is that most women are whoring themselves out anyway, just in a socially acceptable way called ‘marriage’.

    • That would be applicable.

      Some people don’t have the money to hire lawyers and would rather accept money than become poor and embarrass themselves in the public eye.

      If the men are making the offer she can accept or refuse. If she refuses she refuses, if she accepts she accepts, noone is twisting her arm either way.

      She might accept it rather than take the risk of NOONE going to prison.

  • The payout is the same as an apology.

    It would be like turning a US lawsuit against a person like assault and battery into a civil suit where only financial compensation is required.

    If someones acquitted of a crime in the US they can still have civil suits filed against them.

    I’m not a Japanese lawyer, but I could understand that in some cases like assault and battery that some people might prefer to claim financial compensation rather than sending the perpetrator to prison.

    The payout would be the same as saying “I of my own free will accept this money in lieu of prosecuting this man with prison time.”

    If I had a broken arm and jaw and the guy that attacked me offered me 50k dollars in exchange for dropping the case, I’d accept in a heartbeat.

    The financial compensation would cover my medical bills, and sending him to prison wouldn’t keep me from going bankrupt

    It wouldn’t be fair for me to turn around, say “thank you for the money, but I’m going back on my word and sending you to prison.”

    That would be a breach of contract.

    If the victim accepts money from the guilty party that should be considered a non verbal contract to drop the case.

  • Don’t see what the big deal is here. If a juror is sensitive to sex crime, they may rush to dertermine guilt. This is unacceptable regardless of how obviously guilty the defendants may be. You don’t get a functioning justice system by tolerating bias.

    I don’t really understand the apology and payoff thing, though, but the Japanese perception of apology is different and I don’t really understand it.

    • Quite true….. the prosecution would want someone like me on the jury, as would the defense. If someone is proven to have TRULY raped someone (by their being physical injury), I am going to convict them (though not put them in jail for life, since that does NOTHING to address the underlying ‘men with high libidos’ thing that most sex crimes come from).

      Absent that, even in the case of a ‘minor’…. I’m going to vote for acquittal, regardless of what the law states, since I believe that law is in violation of human rights.

  • I hope japan doesn’t turn into America.

    Nancy ****ing Grace.

    That dumb whore spends months demonizing people BEFORE the trial to increase the prejudice against the defendant during jury selection so everyone knows the guys name and is filled with hours and hours of rampant speculation.

    The worst thing that she does is create amateur detectives who probably just look at stuff, come up with bad hypothesis and just start making crap up to be on air.

    If Japan gets a Nancy Grace clone, they’ll nuke themselves in under a month.

  • here in the philippines you can get away with rape you don’t have to be a diplomat(yeah diplomatic immunity) but a US soldier. instead of prosecuting the soldier the victims the one who will suffer like nicole by her government countryman and also another case after our midget president pardon her political ally a loli congressman after 11 years in prison she sign a anti-loli law. WTF?

    • “impartial” =/= “sympathises with rapists”.

      The idea is to find a group of people who can be expected to judge based on whatever evidence is presented, rather than using people who will always vote either innocent or guilty based solely on some personal experience or prejudice.

      Striking off potentially biased jury candidates is a pretty standard feature of [fair] court systems that include a jury; I’m honestly not sure what point Artifact is trying to make here.

  • Always Room For Jello says:

    Well, the idea is same as the anti-racism thing in the West.
    If either parties are (if say for example) black, then the potential jurors have be found to not be overtly prejudiced against black people in order to protect against this bias.

    Although it kind of implies that the remaining jurors are pretty okay with gang rape.

    • everybody is harsh to gang-rape…just that some people are (reasonably) excessively harsh…

      One person my say “jail for life!”, but an excessively harsh person would say “life time of sodomy and torture while watching the police rape and murder their family slowly!!”

      • Hey, there is the question of whether a ‘gang-rape’ is really a gang rape. There was one girl in high school who was LOOSE AS HELL and took on boys 3 or 4 at a time.

        How do I know this? I actually went to a party and SAW HER DO THAT. When her parents found out, they tried accusing the boys in question who were with her 2 days prior of ‘gang-rape’ but after people like myself came out and told them “Dude, your daughter is a slut and she was ENJOYING that!” they backed off of the boys and their daughter.

  • There’s a point where it stops being impartiality, and while I would probably not agree with an incredibly sharp punishment as this seems to suggest those banned would at least partially support, being choosy just because of stance isn’t necessarily fair.

    • uh… this is the same as the US. I don’t see what the big deal is. The defense and the prosecution will exclude people they believe won’t be fair, or who they think might have a grudge etc.

    • The anon above is exactly right. If their jury system is like that of North America, then they really can’t take any chances on jurors, especially for rape cases like these and other severe cases like murder. That is also why there needs to be a unanimous vote on the jury’s part to convict a suspected murderer. Someone’s future is on the line so if even one person doesn’t believe he did it, then the jury is hung and a new one needs to be selected. This is the strongest and weakest point of the jury system; if done right and the jurors are impartial (or as impartial as they’re going to get) then the case will be just and fair like it’s supposed to be. However, if the jury selected has prejudices, then they can easily convict a possibly completely innocent man to lifetime in jail (or worse in some places).

      • There are also prejudices that can easily let guilty men go free.
        It’s an all male jury for a gang rape case, and men will generally be less sympathetic to the victim in a sex crime than women. In fact, now that I think about it, it increases the chances that the jurors are gang rapists themselves, as the percentage of gang rapists that are women is very low.

        • you seem to not even understand what many things are.

          Child sexual abuse may include fondling a child’s genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, digital penetration, and vaginal and anal intercourse.

          child pornography refers to images or films depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child; as such, child pornography is a visual record of child sexual abuse.

          Statutory rape laws are based on the concept that a young person may desire sex but may lack the experience possessed by legal adults to make a mature decision as to whether or not to have sexual contact with a particular person. Thus, the law assumes, even if he or she willingly engages in sexual intercourse with a legal adult, his or her sex partner may well have used tactics of manipulation or deceit against which the younger person has not yet developed sufficient discernment or defense

        • Actually, most times…… the judges aren’t that smart, Anonymous 9:00. I know many people in the law profession, and they are not ‘smarter’ than other people out of it, and they admit that, even the judges I have talked with.

          And really, that is the JUDGES ESTIMATION as to whether someone is guilty or not, it’s no more ‘valid’ than the jury verdict when it comes down to it.

          What we REALLY need to do is repeal a lot of our laws. Statutory rape: gone. Child sexual abuse: gone. Child pornography: gone. Drug laws: gone.

          Unless, in the former 3 cases, the child in question or ‘young person’ is being physically forced into sex with someone, which 99 times out of 100 that is NOT the case in the slightest.

          I’ve seen WAY too many little girls and boys use allegations of sexual abuse to ‘get back’ at someone, and had it done to ME when I hadn’t done jack shit to the young girl in question!

          We simply need to REPEAL a lot of our laws and have our system of justice take a NEUTRAL STAND on whether someone is guilty or not….. and stop calling someone a ‘victim’… that prejudices the jury. Call them the ALLEGED victim, that is a neutral point of view.

        • Its more doing like some Japanese men are doing the same thing like Micheal Jackson case of touching a little boy the wrong way paying compensation for the little boy being touch the wrong way so Micheal won’t be lable a Pedophile.

          In the Japanese case they pay to get away with rape.

        • @2:55 anon, i don’t know they are guilty and i wasn’t condemning them either, i just added my personal opinion to the end. I was merely stating it off-hand, because if someone is guilty then it stands to reason they should be in jail, if it’s certain that they are guilty.

          @3:13 anon, governments, religions and most groups or associations are corrupt as sin anyway.

          It might sound funny but for anyone who’s ever seen a court hearing, or been a member of a jury will know that 9/10 cases, the single one being very detailed and complicated cases, the judges are very astute when it comes to guilty and non guilty people. The jury is more of a custom, which can work but can fall just as hard as well, simply because they have their own bias and personal beliefs. Anyone who’s done Jury will know that afterwards the Judge pretty much tells you whether you made the right decision or not. Most will scoff at the notion and rely only on a Jury, but Judges didn’t do 40+ years in most cases, getting to their position knowing fuck all.

        • It’s a point of view that more and more people are agreeing with.

          More and more people ask “Why try them? They’re as guilty as sin, just put them in prison or kill them.”

          The Gitmo detainees will NEVER get a fair trial.

          When the average person hears Gitmo detainee, they say “evil terrorist” or “just shoot them”

          A minority of them were taken from the field, but the rest were herders and landowners that were “sold” to the US by neighbors who knew that if their neighbor was a terrorist they could either get their land, or get rid of a rival.

          There are people there who were so obviously innocent multiple military prosecuters resigned because they couldn’t justify detaining obviously innocent people.

          Certain pundits push the lock everyone like them up mentality because their viewers believe “How can person x be innocent? The police say he committed y, so why not just give him life?”

          During major cases pundits will run specials on how much of a saint the victim was, how evil the accused is, and how the only just verdict is “life.”

          If the person is innocent, they might continue to demonize the person to make everyone else think “He was just another guilty guy who got off.”

        • “Not everyone deserves a fair trial, namely the guilty…”

          Uh… what? Then how do you know they’re guilty? Isn’t that the whole point of a fair trial?

          So who decides who gets a fair trial and who doesn’t? Who decides who is guilty pre-trial and who isn’t?

          If you’re going to condemn them as guilty right off the bat, why bother having a trial? Just throw them in jial.

          Looks like you’re one of those people with a strong bias.

        • “In the end settling on an all-male panel of 9”.

          This should be enough to prove to you they aren’t manipulating it. It’s a fact that woman CAN, not always, but can have strong prejudiced against rape. Now in my opinion thats a good thing to an extent, but law has to be fair no matter what. Not everyone deserves a fair trial, namely the guilty who don’t deserve it, but unfortunately theres truth and lies in this world. It pains me to see people who have rotted most of their lives in jail to find they are innocent at the age of 80, im generalising but i’m sure there have been cases as such and i’ve heard about other similar predicaments myself. All law is based on the one key fact, innocent until proven guilty. Rape isn’t a good thing, but that doesn’t mean a possible innocent man out of them 4 of them doesn’t deserve a fair trial. I’ve studied law myself a bit and they could all probably be sentenced on the grounds that they all at least had intent of entrapment and rape. Whether 1 of them did the raping and 3 of them watched, that makes the other voyeurs just as sick and twisted. Hoping for the conviction because the fact that the men offered money as compensation means they feel themseleves that they are wrong in some way.

        • An that’s just bullshit. It’s utter Stalinism. Manipulating the law procedures to achieve the wanted outcome turns the whole law process into a farce on principle alone. Reminds me of Beria and his methods. Fucking way to go civilised society.

        • Tell the truth, you are from “Equality Now” aren’t you? Calling the jurors gang rapist just because they are men is the most stupid idiotic thing you could say.
          Also i don’t see how men are less sympathetic to a victim of a sex crime. They just aren’t fanatically predetermined to call others monsters before there are any evidence. They are just more logical. If the evidence are clear they will convict them with no remorse. Are you under the impression that we like sexual crimes? It could have been our girlfriend, sister or mother, not to mention that men like that make us look bad. We hate rapist as much as anyone.

    • Courts are supposed to function on the principle of “innocent until proven otherwise”.
      If you let people with strong opinions on the matter participate in the trail, then they will be biased against the defendant before the trail even begins.

      I wouldn’t ponder that much on this. With such evidently organized effort, they aren’t going to get away with it.

      • Right in one…. I was honestly wondering when this would come up, and thankfully it finally did. The problem with people who ‘hate’ something is that they are usually unwilling to let their personal biases stay out of the courtroom!

        That’s when you get into problems, because those people can ‘taint’ a jury very easily, especially if they go looking for ‘facts’ online or somewhere else.

      • “Courts are supposed to function on the principle of “innocent until proven otherwise”[sic]”

        “I wouldn’t ponder that much on this. With such evidently organized effort, they aren’t going to get away with it.”

        Hmmm…

      • exactly, without knowing more details of this particular case i’d have to point out this, as presented, is hardly shocking.

        the US jury selection system works under pretty much identical criteria. If any of you posting here have ever had to deal with the wonderful priviledge that is the jury summons (i imagine there’s probably quite a few of you who are too young to get your first summons), you should know that right there is pretty much what happens. a person just has to claim they have a serious objection with the subject matter of the case, and they will pretty much be guaranteed to get kicked out of the jury pool.

        i’m totally serious, i’ve seen it happen many a time. in fact i was in a jury pool earlier this year (wasn’t selected though). it actually was for a rape trial. anyway, 3-4 women got dismissed simply because they said they had strong feelings about the subject and probably would hold it against the defendant. note this is during jury selection so they hadn’t even heard any details of the case. that was it. strong opinions and they were off.

        so frankly this isn’t something shocking.

      • I have to admit anon, your quite right. Originally I was going to say that their decision was stupid (pre-comment I thought it was), but after thinking about it, nothing is worse than a pre-biased jury.