crime

Hawkers 'pleased' with life sentence for Ichihashi

164 Comments

The Chiba District Court on Thursday sentenced Tatsuya Ichihashi to life imprisonment over the death of British teacher Lindsey Ann Hawker in March 2007. Ichihashi, 32, had admitted raping and killing Hawker, an English teacher, but said he took her life accidentally.

But presiding judge Masaya Hotta said Ichihashi strangled Hawker for at least three minutes, reflecting "clear premeditation to kill."

The judge said Ichihashi killed Hawker to cover up the rape, adding that he rejected the killer's claim of remorse because of his determined efforts to avoid capture.

"We cannot find words" to describe the tragedy of Hawker's death, the judge told the court, adding that the victim's life ended "in a hopeless situation at the age of 22, when life should be full of possibilities."

As the judge read out the ruling, a motionless Ichihashi stared at the ground, NTV reported.

Hawker's family -- her father, mother and two sisters visiting Japan to hear the verdict -- repeatedly wiped tears and nodded many times in approval as the sentence was read out, it said.

Hawker's father Bill had earlier urged the court to show "no mercy" and called for the death penalty -- a punishment usually reserved for cases of multiple homicide.

Hawker's parents were also present at Ichihashi's trial, which took place between July 4 and 12, and gave testimony.

Six male citizen jurors and three judges gave their verdict shortly after 2:30 p.m. Under Japan's penal code, Ichihashi may be eligible for parole after he serves a minimum of 10 years.

Outside the courtroom, Bill Hawker said: "We have waited 4 1/2 years to get justice for Lindsey and today we have achieved this. We are very pleased. I'd like to thank the Japanese police who never stopped looking for Ichihashi. Lindsey loved Japan and you never let her down."

Lindsay, from a village near Coventry in central England, was 22 when her body -- naked and bound at the wrists and ankles -- was found in a bathtub filled with sand on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment.

The autopsy showed she died of suffocation, and prosecutors said Ichihashi strangled her after the rape.

Ichihashi spent more than two-and-a-half years on the run after the crime and had plastic surgery to evade capture. Prosecutors had demanded life for Ichihashi, condemning his crime as "coarse and extremely self-centered."

Ichihashi testified that after raping her, he bound her and spoke to her for hours, seeking forgiveness. He says she choked to death when he covered her mouth to stop her from screaming for help but he did not mean to kill her.

After the killing, Ichihashi went on the run, working in temporary jobs between Aomori in Japan's north and Okinawa island in the far south.

He used the money from odd jobs to pay for cosmetic surgery, altering his eyelids and nose and having a facial mole removed in an effort to evade police.

Ichihashi, whose wanted poster was a common sight at police stations and public offices across Japan, was caught in November 2009 after a witness tip-off at a ferry terminal as he tried to catch a boat to Okinawa.

He wrote a book titled "Until the Arrest" about his life on the run and offered the proceeds to the Hawker family, an offer they have declined.

© Agence France-Presse

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

164 Comments
Login to comment

Difficult for Brits to ask for the death sentence when in the UK (and throughout the EC) there is no death penalty on the grounds that such punishment is inhumane. Also, a strong show of contrition and a "sincere" apology will usually keep a murderer (of one adult) from the hangman's noose in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I hope the Hawker family can get on with their lives and have peace.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

how long is life?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This:

I hope the Hawker family can get on with their lives and have peace.

and this:

how long is life?

Didn't you read this joke??

Ichihashi may be eligible for parole after he serves a minimum of 10 years.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

Ichihashi gets a new life, very sad verdict.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Actually, I'm surprised he got life in prison. These kinds of cases usually end in a relatively light sentence. I think given the high profile and international attention, the court probably gave him the stiffest penalty they were allowed under Japanese law. There was no way he was going to get the death penalty.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Difficult for Brits to ask for the death sentence

No, it isn't. I don't suspect the Hawkers ever got a vote on what their government chose, and I doubt they agree with their government's position. They are not tied to their government's positions in this case or this country. They are just people.

Cannot believe he will even be eligible for parole in ten years. He probably won't get it anyway, but still... MrDog is right. Its a joke, and a bad one.

In fact, he was not sentenced to life at all. Its called an indefinite sentence to those who are careful with their translations.

My question is what was he found guilty of exactly? Murder? Negligent homicide? What?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The "Six male citizen jurors and three judges" are idiots.

He says she choked to death when he covered her mouth to stop her from screaming for help but he did not mean to kill her.

Covering someone's mouth, and choking someone are VERY different. One you try and muffle the sound, the other you try to stop them breathing. And you have to do it for a few minutes.

Japan's "justice" system just made itself look even more useless.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Billyshears,

Why is it difficult for a Brit to ask for the death penalty? Just because it is not part of the law doesn't mean all people agree it is inhumane. If I was her father I would've asked for a baseball bat and ten minutes alone with him.

I hope even when he is eligible for parole it gets denied.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Waiting to read the verdict in Japanese, as there re few "Life Sentences" on the Book and am intersted in wht type it is.

Supposedly without parole which could mean till death. Still cheaper than having him on death-row for 30+yrs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The average number of years spent incarcerated (in more recent cases of life imprisonment sentences) is 30.1 years. Release after only 10 years is very rare although legally the Emperor could grant a pardon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I worked at Nova at the time of this young ladies murder. It is unbelievable that they would even consider giving this monster a chance at parole after 10 years. The murder of this beautiful young woman not only took her life but caused others' lives to be changed as well. The lives of her parents, sister, boyfriend and friends, the lives of her roommates and her co-workers. He didn't mean to kill her doesn't make the situation right and the fact that he went to such lengths to try and hide the body and change his appearance to evade arrest shows that this demon deserves nothing but the harshest penalty under the Japanese penal code. To the Hawker family I pray for closure and peace and to this monster I pray for nothing but suffering for the suffering he has caused so many!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In this case "Life" should mean until this scum breathes his last.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That's it, I'm not paying taxes anymore, I refuse to help pay for this guy's food, housing, clothing, medical care, etc. any longer. I'll increase my contributions to the community, but the government's not going to take any more money from me to help Ichihashi to live.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Covering someone's mouth, and choking someone are VERY different.

Yes, but I suspect its an error of translation and/or reporting. Its pretty obvious the broken cartiledge in her neck was not the result of covering her mouth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey JT, any news on what the family have said??

If they have no problems with the sentence, then none of us should have either...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We will be updating the story as more information comes in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Serrano

That's it, I'm not paying taxes anymore, I refuse to help pay for this guy's food, housing, clothing, medical care, etc. any longer.

So who's going to pay for your food, housing, clothing, medical care etc. when you go to gaol for non-payment of taxes?

11 ( +11 / -1 )

PATHETIC!!! Like I said before, this guy will get out. He is eligible for parole in only ten years. No, he will not get out in ten, but here is the kicker. He will get out sooner than most people hope. And when he does not the victim's family nor the public will know anything about it. In the States the victim's family gets to know when the killer gets out, but not here. This is the last we will see or hear of Ichihashi. I feel very sorry for his victim. She will not get paroled. Is not eligible for it. But he will, if he is good. I would say fifteen to twenty years later. My prayers go the victim's family. They must be pissed off and they have a right to be. Way to go court system. You screwed the victim's family and will let the monster go someday without letting the public know about it. Whose interests did you serve? The criminals. This monster should never be let out but will be.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

lacabrasi - Whoops! Heh heh I guess you're right, I just have to suck it up and pay my taxes and let the government waste it on Ichihashi, lol.

MrDog: "If they ( the Hawker family ) have no problems with the sentence, then none of us should have either"

I have a problem with it. I pay taxes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Chance of parole after 10 years is the standard for life sentence in Japan, as there is a standard number of years for chance of parole in most countries we know. It's basically the next worse sentence after the death penalty, and it's highly doubtful this guy will get out on parole after 10 like someone else already mentioned. Also nust note, that if one does not get out on parole after 10 years, the maximum possible time of imprisonment is forever (until death), as opposed to 20 or 30 years, so it works both ways.

20yrsjpnman: I don't understand why it would make a difference that Lindsay was "a beautiful young woman..." as you put it; she was a person who was killed and that is why Ichihashi should be put away for life period.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"this guy will get out"

If he does, he's going to be in grave danger.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Serrano, you would be willing to pay more for an execution I take it? And yes, you would pay more. Tell you what, why don't you pay your taxes and reimburse me for the amount I paid for the more expensive executions you support and got? How's that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

10 years? What a joke!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Feel really sorry for the Hawker family, lets just hope their sorrow is a bit relieved with this sentence although I can udnerstand it would not. Ishikawa behind bars. for a long time, hope he rots there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's the same with everyone who gets 'life' -- they are eligible for parole in 10. But at least he got life -- he could have gotten a lot less. I can understand how Mr. Hawker wants to see Ichihashi get the death penalty but there's no way he would have; death penalty requires that two or more victims, or in the case of one it needs to be an extremely brutal and premeditated murder. I'm not undermining her murder -- ALL murder is brutal -- but Ichihashi didn't qualify for the death penalty, even for those who wanted him to get it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lacabrasi - Whoops! Heh heh I guess you're right, I just have to suck it up and pay my taxes and let the government waste it on Ichihashi, lol.

MrDog: "If they ( the Hawker family ) have no problems with the sentence, then none of us should have either"

I have a problem with it. I pay taxes.

You will be paying exactly the same amount of taxes whether he was executed or kept in there forever.

And even if you did pay extra, is the government going to say "we've got to keep this guy in jail for years and years, so everyone has to pay us an extra Y0.001 in tax for the duration of his sentence"?

There are a lot more things I resent paying taxes for that affect me a lot more than whether this scum is in jail or dead.

Going by the usual "what if it was your child who was murdered..." retarded logic, I think it's disgusting and pathetic that he could get out in 10 years, but if the family is fine with that, then so be it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@myself: Ishihashi

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smith: "Ichihashi didn't qualify for the death penalty"

Sure he did. He murdered a person in cold blood.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

chewit - How can an execution cost more than food, clothing, housing, medical care, etc. for decades?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am confused (again) last week a Chiba man killed one student and got DEATH, and you can not compare every killing. But this was a particularly callus and bizarre circumstance (details) how did he get away with whoops accident! 2 years on the run too. Not a supporter of the death penalty myself but there is no doubt what this abomination did...chances of him felling remorse other then for himself, not high. Life should be at LEAST 20 years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@chewit - How can an execution cost more than food, clothing, housing, medical care, etc. for decades?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29552692/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/execute-or-not-question-cost/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Serrano.

1yr on Death-row is about 6-8+ times the cost of 1yr in general population.

There are more guards per inmate, single cels, etc, etc that make up those extra costs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

May Ichihashi burn in hell for all of eternity! May Ms.Hawker on day RIP somehow, NMRK!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Executions need to be made simpler and quicker.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@MrDog

The six male citizen jurors and three judges are idiots

Why? They found him guilty of murder. They didn't believe his story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have a hard time believing he will get out in 10 years. He tried so hard to avoid detection and ran from the authorities for so long that it was such and embarrassment to Japan and I just can't see them doing anything else to let them be subject to critisism in this case - in Japan and around the world.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The supreme court of Japan, in imposing the death penalty, ruled that the death penalty may be imposed "inevitably" in consideration of the degree of criminal liability and balance of justice based on a nine-point set of criteria. Though technically not a precedent, this guideline has been followed by all subsequent capital cases in Japan. The nine criteria are as follows:

Degree of viciousness

Motive

How the crime was committed; especially the manner in which the victim was killed.

Outcome of the crime; especially the number of victims.

Sentiments of the bereaved family members.

Impact of the crime on Japanese society.

Defendant's age (in Japan, someone is a minor until the age of 20).

Defendant's previous criminal record.

Degree of remorse shown by the defendant.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Cricky

I am confused (again) last week a Chiba man killed one student and got DEATH.

Yes, but he killed her for her money. If there's a financial motive involved then the death penalty is more likely, even if only one person was killed. This case is different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although the law stipulates at least 10 years, "lifers" have been in jail for at least 20 years here in Japan. Some for 50 years.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Seems like a reasonable sentence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Justice has been served if "life" means for the term of his natural life.

And what are the chances that this is now over? My guess is that he appeal the life sentence. Hope that I am wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You need to see the article by AP on Yahoo.com (US) and especially the photos of him before and after the surgery. In Japan, on these photos he looks almost handome, but on the Yahoo News page he looks like some dangerous lunatic, total psycho. Yes, and the comments below are pure gems!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what was he found guilty of exactly?

Satsujin (which can be translated as either murder or manslaughter) and rape leading to death, 'etc'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What other outcome was possible?

He clearly did it. He admitted doing it. They could not give him the death penalty as he was clearly also a bit nuts. Not to mention potential world reaction. The had to give him something harsh as the whole world was watching and judging Japan by this case.

Thus.... Life In Prison was probably the only outcome ever possible in this case from day one.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They only expect him to live another 10 years? Well, with all that radiation around...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Ichihashi will still be a danger to women when he is freed. Note July 2021 in your diaries.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ichihashi will still be a danger to women when he is freed.

Don't you think that the Japanese authorities will be aware of that, and take it into account when deciding when to release him?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@lucabrasi: you think they can read his mind? Ultimately he will have to be freed unless he can be shown to be an obvious dangerous lunatic, and that is rather unlikely. Even if true, the Issei Sagawa case shows that if anything, being declared unstable can get you out of jail even quicker in this country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anyway, on TV did they have the stupid reporter-running-out-of-court-building-with-verdict rubbish that they always have for big trials?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@britling

you think they can read his mind?

Not as such. But trained psychiatrists can get a pretty good idea of what's going on in there; it's their job. And I'm sure they'll be consulted before he's released.

And why do you assume he'll be let out after the absolute minimum ten years? I doubt that very much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess we all knew they wouldn't execute him. If he had of killed her for economic reasons, maybe - the Chiba case only last month handed down the death penalty for a killer who robbed and killed a japanese girl of the same age. I think the fact that it was 6 men on the jury is telling - brutal rape here may not be considered as heinous a crime by them as robbery. I can only hope that this piece of vermin has the most miserable life imaginable at His Emperors' pleasure - and that life really will mean life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A true life sentence would in my view be justice. What matters most is that the family feel justice has been done, so they can find peace. That and him not being let out early, as he is clearly still dangerous. In term of the world reaction, many countries oppose the death penalty, so granting that wouldn't help Japan's image.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally speaking, Life Imprisonment should mean life, or a lot more than what, 15% of ones life. The victim had another 50 years at least of a life to live, so surely he should serve that same amount?

This is better than say, 5 years, or 10 years, but whichever, he ended her life far too soon and should be heavily punished for it.

If he serves 10 years & then is released, I would then like see how long he can survive the same torment he gave the victim.

This guys life is absolutely meaningless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@lucabrasi: why do you assume he'll do significantly more than a ten-year stretch? There's no evidence he was a troublesome prisoner while in custody, other than a period when he refused food. This is just my opinion, but I think he'll sit out the time quietly. Psychiatrists' reports can also be ignored, as they were in the Sagawa case.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

this was always going to be the most appropriate sentence. i think it's a shame that the family were calling for the death penalty; two wrongs don't make a right

5 ( +9 / -4 )

i think it's a shame that the family were calling for the death penalty; two wrongs don't make a right

Unless we were in their situation - which I pray never happens - we have no idea how they feel. We cannot be critical of the Hawkers whatsoever for thinking that way.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The dictionaries translate it as 'life imprisonment', but in fact muki-choeki means *imprisonment for an undetermined length of time'. All this 'life should mean life' is a bit off the mark.

That said, I hope that in this case muki means a long, long time.

As for the Chiba man getting the death penalty - weren't seven other rapes plus the fact that he had only been out of prison for three months, also taken into consideration?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

i think it's a shame that the family were calling for the death penalty; two wrongs don't make a right

Correct, regadless of how they "feel". If Ichihashi had instead killed her accidentally as the result of a car accident, would they still "feel" execution was appropriate? Its pretty likely. Thus, how people "feel" is not a good reason for execution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If there's a financial motive involved then the death penalty is more likely, even if only one person was killed. This case is different.

which says it all really - kidnap, rape and murder to prevent escape is not considered as heinous as murder to pinch cash? I think BurakuminDes is right and the all-male jury had an influence.

Having said that I think life in prison is reasonable if life really does mean life. A release after 10 years would be way too light, but then, would we even know if he is released? I doubt it will be reported.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

i think it's a shame that the family were calling for the death penalty; two wrongs don't make a right

I dont. And Im British but I find it very easy to call for. If it was my daughter I would want the vermin hanged. I don`t see hanging this guy as a "wrong".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@miamum

I think the financial motive is believed to show evidence of planning. It's not because it's pinching cash....

As for the all-male jury bit, there still seems to be some confused thinking here. Ichihashi was found guilty of murder, his story of "accidental killing" was rejected, and he was given the sentence demanded by the prosecution. What else should they have done?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hey JT, any news on what the family have said?If they have no problems with the sentence, then none of us should have either...<

I'm watching the evening news now. Lindsey's family said that they are pleased with the sentence. Obviously Ichihashi wasn't, because he said he was "misunderstood", "his thoughts didn't reach the judges". He hasn't desided wether to appeal or not, yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As for the all-male jury bit, there still seems to be some confused thinking here. Ichihashi was found guilty of murder, his story of "accidental killing" was rejected, and he was given the sentence demanded by the prosecution. What else should they have done?

I wouldnt have had a problem with him getting the death penalty - but I can see why they didnt.

I don`t have a problem with him getting life IF he serves a minimum of 20-30 years. The possibility that he could be out in 10, at age 42, and ready to get on with his life makes me sick.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm watching the evening news now. Lindsey's family said that they are pleased with the sentence. Obviously Ichihashi wasn't, because he said he was "misunderstood", "his thoughts didn't reach the judges". He hasn't desided wether to appeal or not, yet.

Good to know. I hope this gives them the peace the need - which will be promptly taken away from them if that scumbag decides to appeal.

Im glad Ichihashi isnt happy with the decision. Im sure he wasnt misunderstood and Im sure his true thoughts DID reach the judges - hence the sentence given. I suspect that he would have been a lot more believable in his remorse if he hadnt been on the run for 2 years. Im glad they saw through his BS. I honestly wasnt expecting them to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really hope this helps the Hawkers, lord knows they all need some peace, I hope this is somewhat acceptable to them as time passes & that this scum never gets out

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is where the Japanese legal system falls apart. "Life imprisonment", where you can be out on parole in 10 years, or death are pretty much the only two choices for serious crimes.

I am not really an advocate of capital punishment, but if we only have a choice between this guy possibly getting out on parole in 10 years or death, then I'd choose death.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

parole after 10 years? What a joke! An eye for an eye, a life for a life. To the gallows, I say.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unless he's found innocent in another trial, Ichihashi won't be out in 10 years. All lifers in Japan have been locked up for at least 20 years, some for as long as 50.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Actually - looking at the posts, it seems to have something to do with the apostrophe button - let me try:

Im glad that Ichihashi is going to be in prison for life and I hope its rough for him.

There is an apostrophe between "Im" and "its" - see what happens...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Serrano: "Sure he did. He murdered a person in cold blood."

Sorry, amigo, but while murder is the most horrible thing you can do to another person it still doesn't warrant he be murdered as well. Forget about the fact that I am anti-death penalty and consider actual Japanese law, which Skeptical Hippo stated above and I mentioned earlier; the degree of viciousness was not there, and he did show remorse (real or not real). I think the guy is scum and I hope he gets no parole after 10 years, but he does not deserve the death penalty any more than anyone else who commits the same or similar crimes.

We are lucky he got life -- I anticipated a much lighter sentence.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unless he's found innocent in another trial, Ichihashi won't be out in 10 years. All lifers in Japan have been locked up for at least 20 years, some for as long as 50.

This is indeed encouraging. Do you know of any stats available on-line to support this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the degree of viciousness was not there,

so - kill him gently then

0 ( +3 / -3 )

PapaSmurfMan

Try Wiki for a start...

Alternatively, do a Google Search for "Japan life imprisonment"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Life imprisonemnt should just mean that and not parole after 10 years. I can only hope that this will never happen. He should remember his wrong doing for the rest of his life in a prison cell and not outside.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is a document on-line by the Center for Prisoners' Right Japan which points out that the average time served for lifers before being released on parole has extended over the last few decades. They say, for example, that 1,670 people were in for life as of 2007 (nearly double that of 1993) and 74 sentenced then, but in the same year only one person was released (after serving 31 years). At that time, there was also one person who had been in there for over 55 years without parole!

On the other hand, there are people like Sagawa, who was never jailed for killing and eating a woman (and did a documentary recently where he quite openly admits to cannibalistic urges), plus cases in the last year or two of children being killed by their parents but avoiding lengthy sentences.

So it is highly unlikely that Ichihashi will only do 10 years. He may even do longer than 20. But he could also get out in less than that, who knows. He really should have been denied any sort of parole from the start.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The "life" sentence was, I think, inevitable. Let's hope he does the decent thing and commits suicide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If all he got was life with ten years for possible parole, they should have put the fresh, young, skinny, weak, kid in an American prison....you know what I mean? wink wink.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think some praise should be given to Mr Hawker for his handling of the situation. Always extremely respectful and full of praise for the Japanese police in press appearances. No overt shows of anger, finger pointing etc and God only knows how strong the urge must have been to vent it out. By playing the game this way he got the police/government support needed to catch the killer and get the exact sentence they were looking for. Well done sir.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

He got life but will be out after 10-20 years!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I see this as a victory for Hawker family and Japanese Judicial system. The system works. The sad thing is their daugher will never come back to see this justice done for her .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Atleast now the Hawkers can try to move on and put this behind them, although the memory of their daughter will forever live on in their memorys.

I really hope this scum bag doesnt get early parole and is left to rot in the Japanese Penal system, or some one takes a dislike to him while he is in the klink and adjusts him for good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The guy got life. He's done. What are you all freaking out about?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The guy got life. He's done. What are you all freaking out about?

Because he could be out in 10 years? You don't see anything wrong with that?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yep! he will be younger than me when his sentence is finished. To me, 'life' in prison does not mean ten years. It means LIFE!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He's out in 10 years. 10 years is nothing. His parents are rich. A lot of money wi be there for him when the time comes.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

he won't be out in 10 years , the Hawker family can petition any parole . The Hawker family should take any or all of his money and donate it on behalf of Lindsey to Africans who are dieing of starvation or thirst . Or some other cause . Do you hear me Bill Hawker ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't think he'll be out in 10 years but it would be nice to know for sure he won't be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wish the court would have granted Bill Hawker's request.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is indeed encouraging. Do you know of any stats available on-line to support this?

http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000057318.pdf

The chance of Ichihashi of actually receiving a hearing from the committee after review of the prosecutors is very remote. The chance of Ichihashi getting out in 10 years is very very very remote.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I hope he gets out in 10 years. People can change, give him a chance. Or we could go US and place 1/10 of our population in prison...

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

how long is life?

This is exactly what I was going to post. In this case, does life mean life?

Being locked away for the rest of your life is pretty shitty. If you can deal with no beer, no female contact, no weekends laying around in bed, no private hand shandies, and no privacy, then more power to you.

Who knows? Under the right circumstances, this woman could've ended up being my wife and mother to my children, same story for any guy here. And ultimately, like it or not, Ichihashi could've been a husband and father... or boyfriend, given the right circumstances. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Instead one is dead and one might as well be dead. What a waste. A bit like that movie "The Departed", where everyone is 6ft under by the end. The whole situation is a real shame.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think it is only because of pressure from the Hawker family on coming to Japan so many times and fronting the media and appealing to the public that has kept this case alive and finally leading to Ichihashi's arrest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tahoochi - as I knew her and conversed with her on a number of occasions (concerning work) I meant that she had a wonderful personality and positive outlook on life. I should have been clearer in my explanation.

As the Hawker family are happy with the verdict then what the rest of us have to say is of little importance. I truly hope they finally find peace.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

and that is also the reason he has been given this sentence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In this case, does life mean life?

He has not been sentenced to 'life'. He has been sentenced to 'imprisonment for an undetermined period'. Japan does not have 'life imprisonment'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The dictionaries translate it as 'life imprisonment', but in fact muki-choeki means *imprisonment for an undetermined length of time'. All this 'life should mean life' is a bit off the mark."

I thought that under muki-choeki prisoners were eligible for parole after 15 years. Shuushinkei is what they give when they want you to die in jail (=100+ years in US), the only out being a pardon or amnesty from the emperor or the like.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully he will not be released until rehabilitated fully. Of course the death sentenceis wrong, it is revenge not justice.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Lizz - My understanding is that Mukichoueki is 'for and indefinite period' and Shuushunkei is for the rest of your natural life ( with no parole). I am no expert though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this the best the court in Japan could do? Sets a bad example that you can "never" get death penalty for premeditated murder. Probably on the advise of the lawyer, Bill Hawker was careful with the words and thank the Japanese judicial system, but you can see his true feeling of disappointment. He knows this was not justice. Ishibashi should've been on a electric chair.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They could not give him the death penalty as he was clearly also a bit nuts. Not to mention potential world reaction.

Prosecutors could not seek the death peanalty based on the conditions set forth by the Supreme Court.

4.The had to give him something harsh as the whole world was watching and judging Japan by this case.

I don't think the lay judges "cared" what the world thought of Japan. Read their comments before you make these absurd claims.

Thus.... Life In Prison was probably the only outcome ever possible in this case from day one.

May I suggest going back to previous related articles and comments thereafter by some of posters here. For example,

" I suspect a 2 year sentence at best... with the judge saying some lame crap about rehabilitation, like it's existed in Japan."

"He won't be charged with murder at all. This is Japan, not the real world. He has shown remorse, he is stating her death was an accident. It will be concluded she died by accident and he will be charged abandoning a body, hence 3-4 years and the time he has already spent in the pen will be deducted from his sentence. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not."

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Sets a bad example that you can "never" get death penalty for premeditated murder.

Hard to prove that his actions constitute a premediated murder considering the fact that both used a taxi to get to Ichihashi's apartment and him subsequently telling the driver to wait 5 minutes. When the driver refused, he asked the driver if he could come back in 5~6 minutes which the driver again refused. In addition, he bought soil, shovel, industrial deodorizer, etc at the home center after the incident.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

>Shuushinkei is what they give when they want you to die in jail (=100+ years in US), the only out being a pardon or amnesty from the emperor or the like.

shushinkei is the term used to translate 'life imprisonment' in other justice systems. Currently Japan does not have shushinkei. There are those who say it should be introduced as an alternative to the death penalty, since mukichoeki offers the possibility of parole. Why would people want it introduced if it were already in place?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hard to prove that his actions constitute a premediated murder considering the fact that both used a taxi to get to Ichihashi's apartment and him subsequently telling the driver to wait 5 minutes.

Huh? This is like saying the farmer did not plan to kill the sheep since they arrived together, and it must mean the farmer decided to kill the sheep on the spur of the moment.

And no, it was Hawker who told the cabbie to wait, which he did, then left seven minutes later when Hawker did not come back. Hawker was a "she" by the way.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is very sad news indeed. This guy will be back in society in just over 10 years. My guess is 12.

I don't like this. I don't want to see this. Now lets have our cup of daily reality with a little cream and sugar. Some of you like it straight so here it is.

No priors, No mental history. Before this rape/murder this kid never so much as stole a candy bar. He's probably got a Gold license. Aside from his perverse sexual ambition, cut that out, you'd have nothing more than your average citizen.

This kid will go to jail. He'll follow the rules. He'll be quiet and sketch in free time. So long as he obeys institutional rules and shows the proper attitude he will get parole.

He has a life waiting for him once he gets out. He came from a successful family. You can't take away his parents money. He was tried as an adult. An adult he had nothing, no assets, no savings. Even if asked by the court to pay money like O.J. he could live a mediocre life and he won't be expected to pay more than 50% of his salary.

He'll still be able to take the family car for a drive. Shabu Shabu with the family. All these things are waiting for him. There are many of us who will never be satisfied with this verdict. It's not our verdict though, it's the Hawker's verdict. If they are satisfied with it then we should accept it. I think they'll be back to Japan in 10 years though.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@nigelboy

cheers, thanks for the link.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Under Japan's penal code, Ichihashi may be eligible for parole after he serves a minimum of 10 years.**

And there it is! That is why in cases like this, the scum SHOULD NEVER be given a life sentence, they should be sent straight the the gallows. Now this nut job may be eligible for parole within a decade on good behaviour.

That goes down really well!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I am abit disturbed about the seeming lust some have for this man to be killed, some wnat in a brutal manner. Justice is the name of the game not revenge. The nasty man will spend a very long time in prison, He will lose all his comfortsa nd most importantly his freedoms.Killing him will not bring Miss Hawker back. We must let justice rule not our emotions. I expect that he will not be considered for realease until he is better and they will be a very long time if ever.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"shushinkei is the term used to translate 'life imprisonment' in other justice systems."

Both shushinkei and mukichoeki can be translated life imprisonment or life sentence for want of better terms, at least under the American system. We would phrase it as life with/without the possibility of parole. I understand there is also talk in Japan of creating consecutive sentences in the penal code that would be equivalent to guaranteeing a fixed term imprisonment. I personally don't understand the point when parole can simply be denied under the present laws.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

steve@CPFCJul. 22, 2011 - 08:46AM JST. I am abit disturbed about the seeming lust some have for this man to be killed, some wnat in a brutal manner. Justice is the name of the game not revenge.

Ichihashi plan to drug and rape this poor woman and that plan went awfully wrong. He should have gotten the death penalty for killing Lindsay Hawker. These people who think he should not be given the death penalty are not interested in justice. The Japanese judicial system did not work well in this case and life in prison is way too lenient. It has been proven in a court of law that Ichihashi did murder and rape Lindsay Hawker in a premeditated manner. The plan went very wrong and he wound up suffocating her in a panic when she began to scream. That he mutilated her body after death is another problem, and mutilating a dead body is another grounds for the death penalty. Ichihashi is a very sick man. The Japanese law is pretty clear on this case. Ichihashi was given what they call full penalty under the law of Japan which is "never" a death penalty. If Lindsay Hawker can hear, will she say the justice was done? I don't think so.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

People are reading into the parole thing a bit too much, a lot of jumping to conclusions here. Check the (many) posts above stating that the possibility of parole is very low, average sentence of a mukichoueki is 30.1 years, etc., before you all go slating the Japanese legal system.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

steve@CPFCJUL. 22, 2011 - 08:46AM JST I am abit disturbed about the seeming lust some have for this man to be killed, some wnat in a brutal manner. Justice is the name of the game not revenge. The nasty man will spend a very long time in prison, He will lose all his comfortsa nd most importantly his freedoms.

Have you ever actually spent time at the Government hotel ? I can tell you it's not as bad as you make it out to be. Free food, a safe place, 24/7 security, a place to sleep, water, gas, medical and dental. I hope you see it. That's our tax money paying for this.

You can be forgiving and all, That's cool because that is your own personal feeling and opinion on this, but I'm an eye for an eye type person. I believe THAT IS FAIR. That is Justice.

Can't believe people are actually harping about "his release once he is better"

He is a cunning evil man. He was evading capture for 2 years and did plastic surgery so he could not be recognized. He is cunning and if he had the chance to get way with this, he would.

If he was truly remorseful and sorry for what he did, he could have at least handed himself in rather than being captured.

Have a good day!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@sfjp330

Totally agree with your last comment!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sfjp330; The death sentence is state sanctioned murder. How many have dbeen murdered by governments who were innocent? We are civilised and we know that killing is the ultimate sin, whether by citizen or state. Should the state lower itslef to the level of a criminal? Not in my books and nothing could stop the death sentence being extended by a bad government for other crimes for reasons like "public safety" and "security". Mos t developed nation have banned the death sentence as it is morally wrong and is no deterrent.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

nigelboyJul. 22, 2011 - 04:57AM JST Hard to prove that his actions constitute a premediated murder.

Ichihashi STRANGLED Hawker for at least THREE MINUTES. How clear of premeditation to kill is this?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ichihashi plan to drug and rape this poor woman and that plan went awfully wrong. He should have gotten the death penalty

That's the first I've heard of drugs being involved. Link?

If Lindsay died as a result of his 'plan' going awfully wrong, you're saying that the killing was not premeditated, yet -

Ichihashi did murder and rape Lindsay Hawker in a premeditated manner. The plan went very wrong and he wound up suffocating her in a panic

What's that supposed to mean? If the killing was premeditated, what is it that went wrong? Are you saying he intended to kill her in some other way, not by suffocation? She ended up dead. In what way did his 'plan' go 'wrong'?

These people who think he should not be given the death penalty are not interested in justice.

No, just see the futility of revenge as a substitute for justice.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@cleo

The dictionaries translate it as 'life imprisonment', but in fact muki-choeki means *imprisonment for an undetermined length of time'.

Actually, the legal definition of mukichoueki is life imprisonment with work

muki meaning indefinite

choueki meaning imprisonment with work

Please refer also to Chapter II of the Japanese Penal Code, Article 9 (Categories of Punishments) and Article 10 (Gravity of Punishments) of which an English translation is available at the website of the Cabinet Secretariat

http://www.cas.go.jp/

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@ skeptical hippo

Actually, indefinite means the term of imprisonment hasn't been given therefore parole is possible. It is not necessarily for life.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can understand the combat medic's excuses. I don't have the details, but I might agree and say the same in his shoes. I have seen a lot of suicidal pedestrians and no driver should take the fall for their carelessness. Ichihashi though? I have been all through this excuses. He has none.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@butterfly

Actually, indefinite means the term of imprisonment hasn't been given therefore parole is possible. It is not necessarily for life.

I never said anything to the contrary. I know what a "life" sentence in Japan means. Please also read my other comments.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Actually, the legal definition of mukichoueki is life imprisonment with work

and I have read your other comments...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

`Lizz

I personally don't understand the point when parole can simply be denied under the present laws.

Have you heard of the legal term "good behaviour"?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Well, one things for sure - judging by the way he collapsed on the stand after the sentence was read out, and is now complaining he was "misunderstood" he is almost certainly regretting his actions now. GOOD.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Penal Code of Japan states:

Article 12 (Imprisonment with Work)

(1) Imprisonment with work shall be either for life or with a definite term, and the definite term of imprisonment with work shall be not less than one month but not more than 20 years.

They gave him the indefinite life imprisonment with work sentence because the option (definite life imprisonment with work) would have meant a maximum of (only) 20 years in prison. They didn't go lenient on him at all. This way (indefinite life imprisonment with work) will make it possible to keep him in prison indefinitely. There are currently two people sitting out such sentences and they've been in for 50 years already.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Penal Code of Japan states:

When a person sentenced to imprisonment with or without work evinces signs of substantial reformation, the person may be paroled by a disposition of a government agency after that person has served one-third of the definite term sentenced or 10 years in the case of a life imprisonment.

Article 29 (Revocation of Parole) states:

(1) Parole may be revoked in the following cases:

(i) When a further crime is committed within the period of parole and a fine or greater punishment is imposed for the crime;

(ii) When a fine or greater punishment is imposed for a crime committed before the parole;

(iii) When a fine or greater punishment is imposed for another crime before the parole is implemented;

(iv) When the person fails to observe any of the conditions of the parole.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@miamum

Actually - looking at the posts, it seems to have something to do with the apostrophe button - let me try:

Im glad that Ichihashi is going to be in prison for life and I hope its rough for him.

There is an apostrophe between "Im" and "its" - see what happens...

Then separate your words....... I'm -----> I am etc

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@butterfly

and I have read your other comments...

Then what exactly was your point of telling me that indefinite means the term of imprisonment hasn't been given and that parole is therefore possible??

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wow...he could be out in just 10 years...I wish they would mean 'life' when they say 'life'!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The average actual term for "muki-choueki" (indefinate imprisionment with labour) is according, to the Japanese wikipedia article is in the 1980’s 15-18 years 1990's 20-23 years 2004 25 years 10months 2005 27 years 2 months 2006 25 years1 month 2007 31 years 10 months 2008 28 years 7 months 2009 30 years 2 months

Ichihashi's lawyers will announce whether or not they will appeal next week.

Do rapists and rape-murderers get special treatment in Japanese prisons too?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the district court made the right decision on this scum bag. Regarding what all he has done--escaping, hiding, plea bargaining, etc., indefinite prison (or life in prison) could be harsher than capital punishment. It's a great leap from the Blackman case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's a great leap from the Blackman case.

This is true. Justice was never obtained for Lucie. Even her own Father took a pay-off I heard.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Readers, the Blackman case is not relevant to this discussion.

@ skeptical hippo - Your words weren't so clear in all your posts. I see that we are on the same understanding now though...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the thing about murder, though, is that it's the one crime where there is no possibility of the perpetrator compensating the victims - that would require brining someone back from the dead. the death penalty is a poor attempt at this, and just leaves the victims no better off. it's better to accept this, impose a suitably stiff punishment and keep to the moral high-ground

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are two similar types of life sentences in the American system: life with the possibility of parole (indeterminate life sentence), and life without the possibility of parole (determinate life sentence). As far as translations go, "mukichoueki" as "life sentence" is a reasonable approximation to foreign systems of justice since "life" doesn't actually mean putting a person in prison for the rest of his/her life here either, it's usually only about 20 years or so. Dragging in terms like "labor" and "indeterminate" without an understandable context is only inviting confusion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nobody is "dragging in" any terms here.

That's what the two kanji stand for....

muki = indefinite choueki = imprisonment with work (labor)

You're the one dragging confusing-inviting terms here....

"in the American system"????? What does the American system gotta do with this case?

I'll answer that for you.... None! Zero!

This case is a Japanese case of a Japanese citizen killing a British citizen.

Why make it about the USA when it's obviously not?????

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm defending the standard dictionary translations of mukichoueki = "life sentence" or "life imprisonment" as the closest approximation to foreign (at least American) codes or laws and therefore much more natural than inserting concepts like labor or indeterminate which could be easily misinterpreted. Life sentence doesn't necessarily mean "life" in English speaking countries either, so lack of literalness isn't a reason to reject it as a translation. Per usual, it is the judicial system that is mucked up more than the language.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When Ichihashi gets out, will he find another English teacher?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police asked for life sentense and Ichihashi got exactly that. That was the highest punishment he could get, so I don't see why some of you blame the Japanese system. In 10 years he'll be eligible for parole but this is just a formality like some others mentioned. Doesn't mean he'll get it and I strongly doubt he will.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ichihashi STRANGLED Hawker for at least THREE MINUTES. How clear of premeditation to kill is this?

As cleo alluded to, you stated that "The plan went very wrong and he wound up suffocating her in a panic"

You're basically saying that Ichihashi had no plans of suffocating her.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is very sad news indeed. This guy will be back in society in just over 10 years. My guess is 12.

The way most posters were predicting a short sentence, let's not compound the absurdity by making another prediction shall we?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nigelboyJul. 23, 2011 - 12:15AM JST. The way most posters were predicting a short sentence, let's not compound the absurdity by making another prediction shall we? You're basically saying that Ichihashi had no plans of suffocating her.

Ichibashi had a premediated intention of raping Hawker. The premediated rape alone carries about 15 years in U.S. What about the murder conviction? Another long sentence of 30 years in U.S.? But what is the bottom line for Japan sentence? 10-20 years? I guess they call this justice in Japan. Lindsey Hawker was still in the prime of her life, met a terrible death at the hands of a person who knew her very well. He claimed he was remorseful of his actions, the Court could only attach weight to that submission if the accused himself had expressed the sentiment from the witness stand where his sincerity and conviction of that claim could be tested through crossexamination.The mere fact that Ichibashi was found guilty does not in itself mean that he was remorseful.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ichibashi had a premediated intention of raping Hawker

That I agree. But what your exact quote was "premediated murder".

But what is the bottom line for Japan sentence? 10-20 years?

Or most likely longer. This is based on the very small % of Mukichoeki prisoners who are granted parole compounded by the relatively increasing years of time served (over 30 years) for those who are lucky to get the parole approval. There are quite a lot of lawyers who have gone out and stated that Mukichoeki is in fact a de facto life imprisonment.

He claimed he was remorseful of his actions, the Court could only attach weight to that submission if the accused himself had expressed the sentiment from the witness stand where his sincerity and conviction of that claim could be tested through crossexamination.The mere fact that Ichibashi was found guilty does not in itself mean that he was remorseful.

Huh? The mere fact that the prosecution got what they seeked for in this trial (muder conviction with mukichoeki) indicates that the judge and the lay judges did not put that much weight on Ichihashi's claim of remorse.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nigelboyJul. 23, 2011 - 04:39AM JST But what your exact quote was "premediated murder".

Prosecutors claimed Ichihashi beat Hawker at the time of the rape and had a strong intent to murder her so she would not report it. Are you saying prosecutors have it wrong?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Prosecutors claimed Ichihashi beat Hawker at the time of the rape and had a strong intent to murder her so she would not report it. Are you saying prosecutors have it wrong?

I believe you and I have a different interpretation of premediated murder. My interpretation is that Ichihashi had planned to rape and kill Lindsay Hawker from as late as the moment they met at the cafe that day. In that sense, my conclusion is that prosecutors would of had a hard time proving this.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nigelboyJul. 23, 2011 - 05:21AM JST. My interpretation is that Ichihashi had planned to rape and kill Lindsay Hawker from as late as the moment they met at the cafe that day. In that sense, my conclusion is that prosecutors would of had a hard time proving this.

The good defense attorney will always identify the weak evidence and attack the prosecutors interpretation by creating doubts for the benefit of the accuser.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

correction....for the benefit of the accused.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm defending the standard dictionary translations of mukichoueki = "life sentence" or "life imprisonment" as the closest approximation to foreign (at least American) codes or laws and therefore much more natural than inserting concepts like labor or indeterminate which could be easily misinterpreted. Life sentence doesn't necessarily mean "life" in English speaking countries either, so lack of literalness isn't a reason to reject it as a translation. Per usual, it is the judicial system that is mucked up more than the language.

Call it what it is - a life sentence (eligible for parole in 10 years) with the added "punishment" of work/labor over the whole period of imprisonment.

I say "punishment" because I was thinking that a life sentence without the luxury of leaving his cell to join others in making vehicle licence plates, might have been a stiffer sentence as it's closer to solitary confinement.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If Ichihashi were given life without chance of parole" then, the sentencing would have been correct. To kill a person and then, be "punished" for ten years or less, cheapens the life of the victim.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He is pleased or not ... That is it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The one thing I have difficulty understanding on this is the father's comment that he was pleased with the verdict. "Pleased" just isn't an emotion I would have associated with this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BurakuminDesJul. 21, 2011 - 05:24PM JST

I guess we all knew they wouldn't execute him. If he had of killed her for economic reasons, maybe - the Chiba case only last month handed down the death penalty for a killer who robbed and killed a japanese girl of the same age. I think the fact that it was 6 men on the jury is telling - brutal rape here may not be considered as heinous a crime by them as robbery. I can only hope that this piece of vermin has the most miserable life imaginable at His Emperors' pleasure - and that life really will mean life.

I have to agree with Burakumin here. Born and raised in this country, the views of this society towards Rape is disgusting. Rape is nothing more than a "unfortunate incident" at best. The victim probably dressed too revealing and asked for it, etc. Now, robbery is a very big thing. You'll get more prison time over stealing an apple or a pair of socks than over raping a woman, or several. The fact is that rape is more like a misdemeanor while ROBBERY is considered a extremely shameful crime. I feel very bad for Ms. Hawker. I dare to say that this scumbag would have been given the death penalty if the motive was robbery not rape. Japanese justice is backwards/outdated/draconian and worst of all, corrupted, full of incompetent high-paid pawns that just keep the status-quo on and on.

Shameless really.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

**BurakuminDesJul. 21, 2011 - 05:24PM JST

I guess we all knew they wouldn't execute him. If he had of killed her for economic reasons, maybe - the Chiba case only last month handed down the death penalty for a killer who robbed and killed a japanese girl of the same age. I think the fact that it was 6 men on the jury is telling - brutal rape here may not be considered as heinous a crime by them as robbery. I can only hope that this piece of vermin has the most miserable life imaginable at His Emperors' pleasure - and that life really will mean life.**

Truth hurts!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, last month's Chiba case is not relevant to this particular discussion. Please stay on topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moderator, I was actually quoting Burakumi's post and while the Chiba case may not be relevant to the Hawker case I still agree with him 100%.

Rest in Peace, Lindsey.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cleo,

I think this deserves some clearing up. Japan does, in fact, have life sentences. Just like in the UK, US, and Australia, the judge can hand down an "indefinite imprisonment without the possibility of parole" sentence, meaning effectively until the convicted dies. In fact, in some ways, it's even more strict than in the West, because the judge's options for parole are "after 10 years" or "never". In most Western nations, the judge can set a more specific year count.

Also have to point out that their legal system does distinguish between manslaughter and murder. For one, "satsujin" is not the formal name for murder anyway, and secondly, there are a range of qualifiers that can come before the word to indicate things like "negligent homicide" and "involuntary manslaughter". It's really just a semantics thing.

By the way, to all those complaining that "10 years is too soon!", keep in mind that the minimum mandatory sentence before parole is offered in the US and the UK is only 15 years, and it's only 10 in Australia

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Human Target, I can't disagree with you. 無期懲役 can to all intents and purposes be a life sentence; but Japan does make a distinction between 無期懲役 (imprisonment for an unspecified period of time) which the Japanese system has, and 終身刑 (life imprisonment), which it doesn't. Opponents of the abolition of the death penalty in Japan often give as a reason the lack of a mandatory life sentence.

The 'life should mean life!' chorus, when the judge was speaking in Japanese and the word 'life' never passed his lips, niggled me, is all.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Hawkers should have pushed for the death penalty. This "life" sentence is too lenient. First of all, I would have made sure the jury had at least three female members. Second, Ichihashi did rob her. Of her life, but also of the lesson fee he was going to pay her. They should have made a huge deal out of that "little detail" and he might not have been let of so easily.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I have to agree with both Cleo and Human target on this, they made very good points regarding the Japanese penal code which is extremely complex and sometimes a pain to understand even if you japanese yourself. Still, I have to give my honest opinion and it may not be what some people would agree with but, well if everybody thought the same thing, the world would be the most unbearable and boring place to live in.

I'm glad and satisfied that he got thrown in prison instead of being given the death sentence.

The Death sentence will NOT in any way bring Ms.Lindsay Hawker back to life! The Death sentence will NOT erase what happened, it won't make the pain go away. The Death sentence is way too LENIENT for monsters like this scumbag. The Death sentence DO NOT prove anything, in fact, the crime just keep going up. The Death sentence is not a crime deterrent, PERIOD!

and finally, if I had a member(s) of my own family murdered, I would not want the culprit to be given the death penalty. I would want him/her to ROT in prison for all time. To suffer in captivity. To never enjoy freedom again. Just let them ROT in prison. That way is much more "pleasant".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Hawkers asked for the death penalty but this animal may walk the streets in less than the number of years that equals their brutally raped and murdered daughter's age and they are PLEASED with this outcome???

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You can only ask so much from the justice system in a civilized country. If you make it too draconian, then you open the door up for all kinds of abuses, not to mention that it would be even more unfair to people who are falsely convicted/imprisoned. And make no mistake: convictions in the US get turned over ALL THE TIME, sometimes many, many years after the original verdict.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this guy wont get parole...... he will have simliar Parolle board members as Mark Chapman has......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you can only ask so much from the justice system in a civilized country.

Japan cannot be called civilized if they still have not abandoned the capital punishment. In democratic societies the state does not kill people in revenge for a crime. If we say that killing is brutal and inhumane, will killing a cold blooded criminal make us feel any better? He must serve his time and repent; by killing him even in the most torturous way, Lindsay won't come back and her family won't feel any better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites