crime

Man gets life in prison for murder of 7-year-old girl in 2005

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ruling that circumstantial evidence alone was sufficient to convict him.

I'm deeply troubled by this. Courts should not be able to send a person to prison for life based solely on circumstantial evidence. Particularly when as in this case the circumstantial evidence is so incredibly weak. A letter in which he apologizes to his mother "for causing trouble"? This is the sort of phrase people use in Japan as a matter of daily routine in emails for things as trivial as bothering them by sending an email in the first place. It is a pathetic piece of evidence to be centering a murder case around.

The use of confessions is just as bad, given the notorious tactics used to obtain them.

I can't say if this guy did it or not, but the evidence outlined gives me little reason to feel comfortable that he is the guilty party, or any confidence that the court has established a sound basis for determining whether or not they have the right guy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm deeply troubled by this. Courts should not be able to send a person to prison for life based solely on circumstantial evidence. 

Agree but there's still space for another outcome as they could have sentenced him for capital punishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can Katsumata prove that he didn't do it?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Unbelievable. Death by hanging is the only punishment for this subhuman filth. But instead our taxes go toward him having a free ride in prison? Disgusting

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So he apologized to mom for causing trouble. And to the girl’s family? Would be good to know if he showed sorrow, repentance?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Should have been death penalty

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I can't say if this guy did it or not, but the evidence outlined gives me little reason to feel comfortable that he is the guilty party, I agree the death penalty or life in prison should only be handed down when there is irrefutable evidence, circumstantial evidence is open to interpretation and can be corrupted either by the mental state of the accused or by interrogation methods

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting. Despite the weakness of the evidence, 5 out of 7 of the first commentators here seem to completely go on the assumption he did it. Do they know something that's not apparent in this article?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So sad. No winners here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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