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Navy officer jailed in Japan over deadly car crash transferred to U.S. custody

113 Comments
By ERIC TUCKER

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"The word that comes to our mind is fairness. We want him to be treated fairly for an accident,” Alkonis’ father, Derek Alkonis, said in an interview last year with the AP. “We don’t feel like it’s been that way. We know it hasn’t been that way.”

Only 507 days of prison after pleading guilty to the negligent driving deaths of two Japanese citizens seems mighty fair to me.

21 ( +41 / -20 )

Mountain sickness.....

Station 5 is the highest point transport can go too. This is around 2 km high.

But the family of the US navy man is selfish and doesn't seem to care other life has been destroyed.

28 ( +52 / -24 )

The US military killed two persons. No doubt. There is no evidence of medical unconsciousness.

He should be jailed for way more, fairly.

27 ( +52 / -25 )

Only 507 days of prison after pleading guilty to the negligent driving deaths of two Japanese citizens seems mighty fair to me.

Actually, I should have written “seems far too generous.”

21 ( +34 / -13 )

There are very few accidents, unless there was an unforeseen mechanical failure.

Most crashes are the result of negligence.

22 ( +35 / -13 )

The man was taken into custody without any medical treatment and or assessment to even confirm his claim he got altitude sickness. The man had not been drinking, he had his family in the car and so I am sure he did not put his family and or others in danger intentionally or unintentionally. Japan authorities do not provide lawyers for either foreigners and or Japanese when interrogating and the unjust is for those who are taken in arrested and grilled without legal representation.

-3 ( +21 / -24 )

After the crash near Fujinomiya, Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment or an evaluation, according to a statement of facts provided by a family spokesman.

This should be the real story.

-18 ( +29 / -47 )

Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment or an evaluation.

Certainly he was in the wrong. But it doesn't take nearly a month in solitary with multiple daily interrogation to establish the facts of the case. This is basically torture. There is something very wrong with the police/justice system here.

9 ( +39 / -30 )

In Japan they don't care whether you are CEO like Carlos Ghosn, annoying Youtuber like Ismael Ramsey Khalid or military officer under SOFA, when you get into system you'll get your share solitary confinement and time without lawyer even without any trial.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BA%BA%E8%B3%AA%E5%8F%B8%E6%B3%95

https://japantoday.com/category/crime/why-do-people-spend-so-long-in-jail-without-going-to-trial-in-japan

-21 ( +14 / -35 )

Alkonis is a specialist in underseas warfare and acoustic engineering who at the time of the crash had spent nearly seven years in Japan as a civilian volunteer and naval officer.

One does not just become a naval officer while in Japan. He was a naval officer, and not a civilian! If he was a civilian he should still be sitting in jail, as he was directly responsible for the deaths of 2 people, due to his own admitted negligence!

He should be considered "absent without leave" charged accordingly, also charged with "conduct unbecoming of an officer" and any other charges that may apply. Give him the "Big Chicken Dinner" and send him on his way as a convicted felon!

6 ( +24 / -18 )

Why is this allowed in 2023?

Appalling treatment of a human being

Because this is Japan.

-20 ( +19 / -39 )

@justasking

Japan authorities do not provide lawyers for either foreigners and or Japanese when interrogating 

Did this fellow not know this when he decided to drive to Fuji? Aren’t soldiers briefed beforehand on how Japan works? Just asking.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

So, Mr Alkonis was around 2000 meters or more above sea level when he began to descend?

I can comment on the effects of suddenly changing altitude whilst driving.

I regularly descend from 800-900 meters to 30-40 meters within 10-15 minutes or less.

Even at these lower levels, I often experience partial hearing loss, fatigue, dizziness.

There are definitely effects.

Anyone that has experienced air travel has also experienced the same.

The judge in this case plainly shows his ignorance by doubting the effects of altitude change.

6 ( +22 / -16 )

Deserves a long time in jail..

-1 ( +19 / -20 )

After the crash near Fujinomiya, Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment or an evaluation, according to a statement of facts provided by a family spokesman.

This should be the real story.

Agree with Taiwan. This kind of treatment by a so called ally is appalling.

-16 ( +23 / -39 )

After the crash near Fujinomiya, Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment

Japanese “justice” in 2023.

No lawyers allowed, no video taping, no sound taping….

-7 ( +29 / -36 )

Asiaman7Today 07:57 am JST

@justasking

Japan authorities do not provide lawyers for either foreigners and or Japanese when interrogating 

Did this fellow not know this when he decided to drive to Fuji? Aren’t soldiers briefed beforehand on how Japan works? Just asking.

I suspect, like a lot of people, he didn't think he would afoul of the barbaric justice system in Japan.

-11 ( +17 / -28 )

Agreement is after 1/3 of jail time and full payment of settlement, transfert to home country can be done.

Now 2 killed people 3 years? That's nothing and another proof that Japan is the muppet of the US! Once transfered, he can get reduce time...it means soon getting free.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

In Japan they don't care whether you are CEO like Carlos Ghosn, annoying Youtuber like Ismael Ramsey Khalid or military officer under SOFA, when you get into system you'll get your share solitary confinement and time without lawyer even without any trial.

Unless you are connected to a corrupt to the core LDP member.

8 ( +18 / -10 )

We are encouraged by Ridge’s transfer back to the United States but cannot celebrate until Ridge has been reunited with his family,” his family said in a statement. The Alkonis family, who live in Dana Point, California, said they appreciated the U.S. government’s efforts to bring about the transfer.

What's there to celebrate? The dude crashed and killed two innocent people.

20 ( +29 / -9 )

Good news. The judge made a bad decision in the first place.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Why is this allowed in 2023?

Appalling treatment of a human being

Apparently, you don't know about North Korea and their inhumane treatment.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

seriously, he bring nothing but shame to his own country. He shall repent and serve his remaining term in Japan. Bringing him back just mean you bring back another road bully / criminals back to America roads. It is a shame

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Would have been honorable to accept the judgment and not pull political strings.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

You don't get mountain sickness from descending a mountain. His excuse is rubbish, and that's why he was jailed. How do I know? Because I climbed Fuji this year and had experienced mountain sickness on the ascent, but on the descent I was fine. Clear as a whistle!

If he had admitted that he was negligent, then he would have been treated differently.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

The prosecutor assigned to the case was family of the victim.

The medical reports were all ignored.

That trial was not fair even on North Korea standards.

-18 ( +10 / -28 )

@TaiwanIsNotChina

I suspect, like a lot of people, he didn't think he would afoul of the barbaric justice system in Japan.

I wish these Americans would take ownership of their actions. They have become such finger-pointers.

He was likely exhausted. He had a hard week of work. He’s got three young kids and a demanding wife. He chose to drive to Fuji and then embark on a hike. On the drive back, he likely fell asleep at the wheel and he definitely killed two people.

Instead of taking responsibility, it’s mountain sickness and a barbaric justice system. He attempts to make himself the victim.

There’s always some lame excuse. Own up to the mistake and take responsibility.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Genuinely asking, but can you get mountain sickness suddenly as a delayed reaction long after the fact? According to this guy's story, he was already driving when it hit him. Why was he driving?!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Many people in similar circumstances sentenced in America get 10-12 years.

This is pretty much a slap on the wrist.

Japan needs to stop kowtowing to American military and hand down some serious sentences, or the casual abuse of Japanese citizens will continue unabated.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

There have been several cases like this in the UK including the death of Harry Dunn and severe injury to Elizabeth Donowho. In both of those cases US security personnel fled back to the US. We don't expect much in the way of justice, as vassal states, but perhaps the US could implement a driving test for any staff posted abroad, as the US one doesn't appear to be much use.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@nakanoguy01

You don't get mountain sickness from descending a mountain. His excuse is rubbish, and that's why he was jailed. How do I know? Because I climbed Fuji this year and had experienced mountain sickness on the ascent, but on the descent I was fine. Clear as a whistle!

——-

See my previous comment please

Ascending/descending on foot is completely different to driving a car etc.

Though the judge in the case expressed skepticism over the mountain-sickness claim,

I suspect medical testimony was not sought in this case.Judges are not medical professionals.

Japanese courts largely seem to seek blame or convict on small technicalities.

Altitude sickness can be extremely severe.

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15111-altitude-sickness

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Actually Japanese male CEOs and elite rarely get arrested and invariably get suspended sentences.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

As I always say, ever since I witnessed something in another case, if YOU weren’t there, you DON’T know what really happened.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Actually Japanese male CEOs and elite rarely get arrested and invariably get suspended sentences.

And white CEO and elites are doing real time in the West? LOL.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I don't buy the mountain sickness claim, however lawyers do what lawyers do to keep their clients out of jail.

My question, is there history of Japanese nationals experiencing the same judicial punishment for similar acts? If so, then so be it. If not, then this is a systemic issue of unequal application of the law.

To me this was a terrible accident, nothing premeditated and very unfortunate.

It would be nice that reporting news sources would have done their research to clear up the notion as to whether or not foreigners are treated differently than nationals.

But news organizations being what they are, there are more clicks, subscribes, with implied conspiracy as opposed to reporting facts.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Personally, if I caused this, I would have do the time…and obviously never forgive myself.

However, in Japan, if you can afford to pay $1.65 Million, you would likely walk away scott-free from paying your blood money.

Why he’s still in jail after that is clearly political

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Two innocent people lost their lives, even if he was impaired by altitude sickness surely he could have noticed that he didn’t feel good and take proper action… taking a break or having someone else take the wheel… sure it was an accident… it wasn’t intentional, but he was still responsible in the end.

He got off very lightly.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Altitude sickness at that height in a (presumably fit) naval officer does seem a little surprising to me, having myself once had to break into a trot at 12,000 feet in China to get back to the touring bus in time, and had no adverse reactions whatsoever; but no doubt people's ability to cope at altitude varies, so he should have acted more quickly and stopped driving as soon as he started having adverse sensations, and that would have been acting responsibly on his part.

As for the way the Japanese authorities handled the affair, this could be improved a little as regards his medical condition, for had they been able to confirm his diagnosis (if that is in fact possible), then their case for negligence on his part in not reacting appropriately to symptoms would have been clearer. Still, he's off their hands now so they've saved some money in prison costs!
0 ( +4 / -4 )

Station 5 is the highest point transport can go too. This is around 2 km high.

Enough to produce the problem according to the expert witness in the trial.

There is no evidence of medical unconsciousness.

Except of course from the testimony of an expert that said it is perfectly possible for this to happen and would result in what was declared by the accused.

Most crashes are the result of negligence.

Health problems causing accidents do happen, saying that most accidents are caused by other reasons is not an argument that proves it was also the same for this one.

as he was directly responsible for the deaths of 2 people, due to his own admitted negligence!

There is no such thing, he is claiming an unforeseeable health problem originated the accident, that is not negligence.

Would have been honorable to accept the judgment and not pull political strings

If you had a health problem that caused an accident (let's say fainting in front of a car and making it swerve and crash) and the judge simply choose to ignore that claim without any medical argument, would you accept it?

He was likely exhausted

What medical examination determined this scenario as "likely", obviously this is not something that can be claimed without knowing all the details of the case and having the expertise to differentiate between both offered explanations.

Genuinely asking, but can you get mountain sickness suddenly as a delayed reaction long after the fact?

Yes according to the experts

https://nypost.com/2022/07/26/navy-lieutenant-sentenced-in-japan-causes-outcry-among-family-us-lawmakers/

Neurologists eventually diagnosed him with acute mountain sickness, which can cause sudden fainting up to 24 hours after rapid altitudinal change

Probably anybody that regularly climb or hike in groups will have the experience of someone developing symptoms after descending.

even if he was impaired by altitude sickness surely he could have noticed that he didn’t feel good and take proper action

so he should have acted more quickly and stopped driving as soon as he started having adverse sensations

Have you ever fainted? the process is not something that usually gives the victim time or capacity to react.

then their case for negligence on his part in not reacting appropriately to symptoms would have been clearer

Is the claim is accepted as true then it is also logical to accept as well that the person did not have time and capacity to react and avoid the accident, it is not like a person about to faint has unimpaired functions up to the moment they lose consciousness.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It sounds very much like he was guilty of negligence. However, that does not excuse being held in solitary confinement for almost a month, not receiving a medical examination, not being allowed to talk to an attorney, not having the interrogations recorded, etc.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

You might want to check with your doctor about that.

Agree with Taiwan.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Have you ever fainted? the process is not something that usually gives the victim time or capacity to react.

Yes I have, but leading to the event I felt light headed and knew something was up. If I was driving during that episode I would have had ample time to stop the car. I guess it varies but I find it hard to believe he just suddenly blacked out without feeling anything prior to him blacking out. In the end him not listening to his body and acting appropriately cost those 2 people their lives.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The privilege is real.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

DanielsanToday 09:17 am JST

Many people in similar circumstances sentenced in America get 10-12 years.

Negligent homicide at worst? Unlikely.

Japan needs to stop kowtowing to American military and hand down some serious sentences, or the casual abuse of Japanese citizens will continue unabated.

Casual abuse like that inflicted by Japanese on Japanese every day?

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

If it was mountain sickness then I would presume that there must be numerous accidents in that vicinity caused by people coming down off Mt. Fuji

5 ( +9 / -4 )

His family says no prison time is appropriate.

This is what makes this so egregious. Alkonis' family should just be grateful that Japan allowed their son to be transferred to U.S. custody so he can serve out the remainder of his sentence in the U.S. closer to closer to his family and in more comfortable conditions than a Japanese prison, but instead they are still expecting him to be released after having served only a fraction of his sentence. The Japanese had 100% jurisdiction over this incident which occurred while Alkonis was on liberty, not while he was conducting official government business. Alkonis needs to accept the justice that was served by the host nation government in accordance with the SOFA, and do his time as sentenced. If he were honorable he would insist on doing so even if everyone else insisted otherwise.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

It sounds very much like he was guilty of negligence

Not really, if the claim is true there is no negligence at all.

Yes I have, but leading to the event I felt light headed and knew something was up

In many cases people do not have the time or the capacity to react, and there is nothing surprising about it, the organ that is in charge of mediating the response is precisely the one that is being affected.

I find it hard to believe he just suddenly blacked out without feeling anything prior to him blacking out.

That is still possible, but even that is not necessary, if by the moment a person feels something the capacity of making decisions is already impaired then it is not logical to expect that person to react as if full control of their actions.

If it was mountain sickness then I would presume that there must be numerous accidents in that vicinity caused by people coming down off Mt. Fuji

Not many people drive after experiencing the problem for the first time previously. And a lot of people experience this for the first time when they are not driving (people faint on the train back to Tokyo from Mt Takao, and it is not even that high). Combined with the relatively low incidence of a delayed response and the possibility that it can affect people at less critical point (fainting while driving at a low speed, straight line, etc.) it is simply too difficult to say how many cases "should" happen.

they are still expecting him to be released after having served only a fraction of his sentence

They are making the argument that the accident happened because of an unforeseeable, uncontrollable health problem. No prison time is a logic consequence of this.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It was an unintentional but very much avoidable accident. He should have had to good sense to pull over and rest but chose not to. That was his fault, no one else's. Having said this, how many delivery drivers who work 12/15 hour days not feel the same way, I have read many stories of lorries ..etc.. crashing in towns and causing terrible accidents. If the truth were really known about how much delivery drivers were over worked it would be shocking.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This is not justice served.

It's one thing to feel dizzy or nauseous or even get a headache.

But to completely pass out (his claim) seems unlikely at that altitude.

There are tours to Mt. Everest base camp. You can go there and spend a few days at that altitude. These tours are for people who don't want to climb Mt. Everest but still want to enjoy it. People on these tours don't pass out at Mt. Everest base camp. This naval guy shouldn't have passed out either. He's lying.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I'm prone to altitude sickness 2000 m and above. The brain turns to soup. Need to rest and take some oxygen. Alright after a couple of hours.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Anyone that has experienced air travel has also experienced the same.

You must be a rare breed. In essence, Alkonis suffered through conditions no worse than if he flew in an airliner.

I'm sure somewhere there's an exception, in the same sense you can find adults that are 4 feet tall or have some other rare condition.

But the very vast majority of people have used airliners without serious side effects. Including me, and I'd be surprised if any of the judges either never used an airliner or experienced serious side effects from it. I'm sorry if he's that one in a million, but fundamentally his story of conking out without warning due to airliner air is negligible.

And that's before him having to admit in court that he swerved a few minutes before the crash - a clear sign to even the slowest-witted he's far from feeling his best and should have stopped. He chose to press on and from that point on what happens next is on him.

Agree with Taiwan. This kind of treatment by a so called ally is appalling.

In the case of Alkonis, I'm not sure why any Americans should seriously expect to not be treated as a flight risk after two Americans sprung Ghosn out of his bail. Americans are trained to prejudicially distrust the Japanese judicial system, to the point we've seen it does incite illegal actions. And Western militaries have a reputation of covering for their men, no matter what.

@virusrexToday 10:10 am JST

If you had a health problem that caused an accident (let's say fainting in front of a car and making it swerve and crash) and the judge simply choose to ignore that claim without any medical argument, would you accept it?

I'd say at some point, a person should realize the objective odds aren't in his favor. Suppose you didn't steal. But the prosecutor manages to find 10 people who say you did, and the CCTV tape shows someone that looks very much like yourself. Or maybe you really are the only one that could have stolen it. In that case, you should probably realize the judge had little choice but to convict you.

Further, Alkonis' legal stance was oxymoronic. First, he pleaded guilty. Then in court he tried to explain why he wasn't. He claimed to be really sorry but as an American he offered a pittance compared to what Americans sue each other for for much less than dead people. Do you think this might objectively be viewed as someone gaming the system and not feeling the least bit of remorse?

@virusrexToday 10:10 am JST

Enough to produce the problem according to the expert witness in the trial.

The American expert witness? And while we complain about the blackness behind the interrogation, do note that no one ever produced the proceedings of any medical examination or interview Alkonis received? Was there "telephone diagnosis"? Did anyone suggest to the doctor to play up the chances of a rare condition? And so on. Would the American expert witness lose more by pushing an "anti-Alkonis" version than a "pro-Alkonis" version?

The criminal conviction standard is the lack of reasonable doubt. Not the lack of all doubt.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

 He should have had to good sense to pull over and rest but chose not to.

That still assumes he had time and mental faculties to do it. Which if the claim is true would not necessarily be the case.

But to completely pass out (his claim) seems unlikely at that altitude.

According to what expert? obviously there is no valid personal appeal of expertise from anonymous accounts.

People on these tours don't pass out at Mt. Everest base camp.

None? that would be easy to prove with a reference, including of course how many drive after spending a a short time and descending on the same day.

I'd say at some point, a person should realize the objective odds aren't in his favor.

Having the odds against you is a terribly bad argument for lying and accept guilt.

Further, Alkonis' legal stance was oxymoronic

That is not what oxymoronic means,

 First, he pleaded guilty. Then in court he tried to explain why he wasn't.

Saying that an affliction made you cause an accident and then refuting it was because of malice, neglicence etc. is not oxymoronic, it is not even contradictory.

The American expert witness? 

Yes, that was not opposed by the testimony of any expert of any nationality.

do note that no one ever produced the proceedings of any medical examination or interview Alkonis received?

Was this demanded? or even accepted if offered? the whole trial rested on the "professional" opinion of the judge in a medical matter. That is not reasonable doubt, is discarding the opinion of an expert that said this is a reasonable scenario based on absolutely nothing.

I mean when you end up using unproved conspiracies to defend ignoring an expert instead of (for example) using another expert testimony it becomes very clear there is something very much wrong with the trial.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I'm assuming most people havent read Alkonis statement themselves.

"about five minutes before the crash "I felt my body get weak, and my car drifted out of the lane, but I was able to quickly correct it."[7] He added that he “should have immediately stopped my car" but continued to drive."

The crash was preventable and 3 years was lenient for what he did. According to his testimony, it sounds like everyone was closing their eyes/resting/falling asleep and he did too in all the quietness.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

And for those thinking it was a forced confession. The US Navy conducted and released their own investigation and the wife testified to them that her and her husband fell asleep and both woke up when they crashed.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 01:18 pm JST

In the case of Alkonis, I'm not sure why any Americans should seriously expect to not be treated as a flight risk after two Americans sprung Ghosn out of his bail.

The problem was not the incarceration, it was the 26 days of interrogation, no medical care, and no lawyer. I swear certain people seem to think if they just don't see the torture it must not be happening.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

He should be considered "absent without leave" charged accordingly, also charged with "conduct unbecoming of an officer" and any other charges that may apply. Give him the "Big Chicken Dinner" and send him on his way as a convicted felon!

Many cut-ups and screwball officers in the Navy either get sent to remote Nowhere Land posts light-years away or get early retirement imposed on them.

That's for the higher ranking officers. But since this guy is a Lt., which is a lowly O-3, you'd better believe he's gonna get that 'Big Chicken Dinner'. His Navy career is over.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No one passes it suddenly, as to have no possibility to stop while driving, without medical consequences. Or at least any serious medical check would identify such a condition.

Otherwise anyone having an accident may say so....Take responsibility, not be a cry baby. Two persons were killed !

1 ( +8 / -7 )

@virusrexToday 01:40 pm JST

Which if the claim is true would not necessarily be the case.

A huge if.

According to what expert? obviously there is no valid personal appeal of expertise from anonymous accounts.

Look, it's not hard. People experiencing thin air similar to that faced by Alkonis are in their millions - the number that have ever flown in an airliner, which as you know are pressurized to 8000 feet. The 787 is lowering that to 6000 for a more pleasant experience, but that's a very new plane (I've never tried 6000 feet airliner air before, being always on A320s). Basically people don't suffer serious effects from 8000 feet air. Heck, because Russians are cheap, they actually reduced the pressure differential in their planes so their passengers suffer 9000 feet air, and as far as anyone can tell, passengers still make it out fine.

People who climb Mount Fuji are also plentiful, and the number of people who suffer problems are minimal, and suddenly conk out without warning less.

Any medical expert trying to fight the other direction is fighting against this factoid, which is so well known it'd qualify for Judicial Notice (in common law terms). We defer to expertise - to an extent. But some positions are beyond that deference, and trying to establish Alkonis as a person that conks out without warning in airliner air is one of them.

Having the odds against you is a terribly bad argument for lying and accept guilt.

I'm not saying he has to accept guilt. I'm saying he, and his family, should have the objectivity to accept when odds aren't in their favor. 

Saying that an affliction made you cause an accident and then refuting it was because of malice, neglicence etc. is not oxymoronic, it is not even contradictory.

Basic definitions time. Negligence (kashitsu) is divided into two stages - conscious and unconscious. Conscious is when:

a) you are aware of a risk,

b) you neither want or are indifferent to the negative consequences and

c) you unreasonably decided you can push on while avoiding the risk and d) you failed.

Which seems to cover this situation. He was already swerving before the collision, so he is aware that he's not at his best. No one says he wants to kill or is indifferent to killing someone with his car. He rationalized he can get to his destination, which did not work out.

If his story is that he never had a chance due to the thin air, he should claim "not guilty" by reason of "temporary mental incapacity". Claiming guilty and then trying to push an incapacity claim is an oxymoron that shows he's more interested in gaming the system and kills off any attempt to establish him as remorseful.

Not that this would necessarily work because, here's an example of unconscious negligence. Alkonis never had a concrete, useful warning. However, in this version High Altitude Sickness to the Point of Unwarned Fainting is a significant probability, as advocated by Alkonis' defenders, and further it should be well known. At the very least, Alkonis knows it because according to his defenders he was pleading to be medically examined from the very start, which was refused. OK then, if there's such a risk, which is known (or even should be known) to Alkonis, then duty of care would suggest he shouldn't have driven in the first place, just as duty of care should have guided him into Not Driving if he knew he was Fatigued.

He still breaches his Duty of Care, caused two deaths and is un-remorseful.

(Actually, depending on how you scale it, his knowledge of High Altitude Sickness could be argued to make him aware of a risk, and thus this can be Conscious Negligence as well - but this is at least also an example of Unconscious Negligence).

is discarding the opinion of an expert that said this is a reasonable scenario based on absolutely nothing.

Other than the "expert opinion" goes against something of Judicial Notice level. Besides, the idea that Western military doctors will actively cover for their soldiers is well known, and for that reason aren't particularly credible:

[After crashing into something with a car while drunk]

In what appeared to be no time at all a car pulled up next to us in the dark. It was an officer from Brawdy. 

'I think you two need a lift to the Sick Bay, don't you? You'd better get in!' 

'But I'm bleeding like a stuck pig! It will ruin your back seat.'

'Never mind that! Get in quickly before the police arrive.'

...

The police arrived before the Doc had finished stitching Robin and I was instructed by the medical staff to hold my breath throughout the short interview and to feign total shock. This I did and the police rapidly gave up trying to solicit a statement from me. Soon we were both on our way to the Haverfordwest hospital for overnight observation. When we returned to the Air Station the next day after a second suitably unproductive interview with the police,

MacCartan-Ward, Nigel. Sea Harrier over the Falklands: The Black Death . Pen & Sword. Kindle Edition.

First, note how a fellow officer helps drive them away from the scene of the crime. Second, note how the medical staff teaches the officers how to evade justice. Third, note how so little remorse or sense of wrongness is felt this is recorded in an autobiography that's the author lauding his own achievements and career. Fourth, note how the reader is clearly intended to find this all acceptable.

Do you understand why Western military doctors won't be very credible especially if they are pushing an unlikely line?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

-sniff sniff, ahh the brisk musk of white privilege-

seriously you’d think the soldier was the one who got killed with how they are trying to present this. He killed two people and got an insanely light potential sentence. Yet they are holding his picture like he’s being tortured daily and denied lawyers.

They didn’t even give a fake “I feel sorry for the family affected but it was an accident”

These people are a piece of work

2 ( +10 / -8 )

I'm assuming most people havent read Alkonis statement themselves.

Hindsight is 20/20, but lots of people have one single lapse while driving that is solved, unless the person is already suspecting being under some health problem it is understandable that he would think it would not repeat. After the event it became clear that the tragedy would be avoided by stopping completely at that point (and use other transportation leaving the car) but many people feeling better after this first episode keep driving without any further problem.

the wife testified to them that her and her husband fell asleep and both woke up when they crashed.

It should not be difficult to see the problem with this sentence. If you fell asleep you can't testify what other people did meanwhile you remain in that state, you can only testify about what happened before you fall sleep and after you wake up.

No one passes it suddenly, as to have no possibility to stop while driving

Based on exactly what expertise is this claim? not knowing about something, or not having experienced it is no argument to say it is not possible. Many accidents happen this way, people do lose consciousness after a period in which their awareness, responses or intellectual abilities are impaired.

Or at least any serious medical check would identify such a condition.

Which clearly points to the Judge not allowing such a check being done immediately.

Otherwise anyone having an accident may say so

Not everybody has the testimony of an expert saying this is actually a possibility.

People experiencing thin air similar to that faced by Alkonis are in their millions

Still a completely invalid argument to say he did not suffered from a health problem. Millions of people walk or run everyday, some develop an urgent health problem with that normal activity.

Any medical expert trying to fight the other direction is fighting against this factoid

Irrelevant, they don't have to "win" against it, simply give their professional opinion about it, that would be enough. If the judge could not find anybody that could refute the one expert that did say the scenario was possible that would mean the only rational explanation was that it should have been taking in consideration.

Baselessly ignoring this is terribly wrong.

I'm saying he, and his family, should have the objectivity to accept when odds aren't in their favor. 

And who says they don't? they are simply arguing for what they claimed it happened, which is the thing you are trying to disqualify invalidly.

Which seems to cover this situation

Blindly assuming there decision was unreasonable without proving it first completely disqualify this as an argument. Lots of people have no problem after a single episode of weakness, so unless he was aware this would repeat you can't claim this was done irresponsibly.

Claiming guilty and then trying to push an incapacity claim is an oxymoron that shows he's more interested in gaming the system and kills off any attempt to establish him as remorseful.

Still not what oxymoron means, he accepted he caused the accident, just not by negligence. Are you arguing he was a legal expert with full knowledge of every term he used in his declarations?

OK then, if there's such a risk, which is known (or even should be known) to Alkonis

Known after the accident, trying to argue he should have a time machine to know the risks before is not exactly a rational position.

Other than the "expert opinion" goes against something of Judicial Notice level

No such argument was used against the expert testimony, making up things that the judge did not use to justify ignoring the testimony is not valid either, if anything you would be demonstrating a deep incapacity of the judge to do his job properly.

Besides, the idea that Western military doctors will actively cover for their soldiers is well known, and for that reason aren't particularly credible:

Something that would have value when an expert gave a contradictory statement, which is not the case. A judge simply ignoring the testimony without having any objective basis just because it may not be true is what makes this extremely problematic.

Do you understand why Western military doctors won't be very credible especially if they are pushing an unlikely line?

That would only make the job of the judge very easy, he could just find a Japanese specialist to contradict the testimony and use the lack of credibility, he did not do such a thing. Maybe because he could not find any doctor (of any nationality) that could agree to testify what he wanted to hear.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

GillislowTierToday 02:48 pm JST

-sniff sniff, ahh the brisk musk of white privilege-

seriously you’d think the soldier was the one who got killed with how they are trying to present this. He killed two people and got an insanely light potential sentence. Yet they are holding his picture like he’s being tortured daily and denied lawyers.

They didn’t even give a fake “I feel sorry for the family affected but it was an accident”

These people are a piece of work

Really, white privilege is what you are going with this given his parents? I bet if he were Japanese, drunk, and said he didn't remember what happened, he would have gotten a suspended sentence.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

but cannot celebrate until Ridge has been reunited with his family,” his family

Celebrate? What disgusting people they are. They have nothing to celebrate. Shame on them.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Agree with Taiwan. This kind of treatment by a so called ally is appalling.

In the case of Alkonis, I'm not sure why any Americans should seriously expect to not be treated as a flight risk after two Americans sprung Ghosn out of his bail. Americans are trained to prejudicially distrust the Japanese judicial system, to the point we've seen it does incite illegal actions. And Western militaries have a reputation of covering for their men, no matter what.

That's a straw man argument.

They sprung Ghosn is because of the flawed justice system which incarcerates people indefinitely. As for Americans being trained to prejudicially distrust the Japanese judicial system, I would say NO ONE trained anyone to distrust the justice system here. The system is responsible for that.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

The problem was not the incarceration, it was the 26 days of interrogation, no medical care, and no lawyer. I swear certain people seem to think if they just don't see the torture it must not be happening.

Exactly.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The problem was not the incarceration, it was the 26 days of interrogation, no medical care, and no lawyer. I swear certain people seem to think if they just don't see the torture it must not be happening.

Exactly.

This is false. Navy JAGs did have access to him to advise him of his SOFA rights and provide him legal counsel. They just couldn't take him into U.S. custody like they usually can for minor violations of the law. Under the SOFA, Japanese authorities have the right to maintain custody of individuals who are suspected of a serious crime, e.g. incidents resulting in deaths or serious injuries. You can take issue with the fact that medical care may have been unreasonably withheld and personally object to the period and nature of the pre-trial incarceration, but they were in accordance with existing laws and the SOFA, and what any citizen could experience if they were the ones who just caused the deaths of two people.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Japanese authorities have the right to maintain custody of individuals who are suspected of a serious crime, e.g. incidents resulting in deaths or serious injuries.

Sure. But that does not change the fact that

 Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment or an evaluation.

You can take issue with the fact that medical care may have been unreasonably withheld and personally object to the period and nature of the pre-trial incarceration,

I do.

but they were in accordance with existing laws and the SOFA, 

That's exactly what the problem is- the existing laws.

The fact that someone arrested can be LAWFULLY held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, get interrogated multiple times a day and denied medical treatment or an evaluation is deeply problematic.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Wow, I like how people have judged this man when he did not have medical treatment following the accident.

Someone climbed Mt. Fuji and did not have anything happen to him and another person ran to a bus when he was in China. Let me say, no one's body is built the same, and when oxygen level is low in the brain you do not respond and or react the same when oxygen levels are normal.

Only years ago, I was a week away from dying due to my heart and I don't remember much from the time before the surgery other than waking up and pushing on each day because I was a single mom and a child to take care of.

Rounding up, if this man's oxygen levels were low, he would not have made the wisest choices that includes getting behind the wheel of the car and where he passed out. The Japanese police are lucky he did not die in their custody, because he could have died of a heart attack or something else.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Too difficult to make any absolute comment on the accident because simply we just don't know.

Fact is he was responsible for 2 deaths. That will always attract a big dose of guilty regardless of the situation.

To those who claim this or that cannot happen or is so highly improbable, I ask what do you base you assumptions on?

2 1/2 years ago I was driving home from morning job to later attend afternoon work.

5 mins from home I went past a shop and decided to u-turn and go back to it. After arriving I proceeded to do a u-turn again and head home. Why? Who knows? I never presumed "Oh Browny, you'd better pull over you're acting strangely". Rational decision making was gone. Heading away from the shop was my last thought for the next 4 hours.

I can't recall arriving home. I couldn't recall calling my wife over 20 times at work - her phone was off. In fact I had 99+% no recall at all. I don't know if I slept or whatever. I of course didn't go to work (and I was peed off that they didn't try to call me or my wife!!! ) When my wife came home I kept asking her what day it was. I slowly came out of it.

Next morning I could get into see a neurologist and had full brain scans and heaps of other tests. Full 24 hour heart monitoring with the latest tech - amazing - the following week. The short of it all nothing turned up - zilch. I had an episode that I essentially "lost" 4 hours. The doc said this sometimes happens and causes are never found.

The scariest thing about it all was what if I was still 15mins from home on the major city 6 lane arterial highway?

Until something happens to you, it's wise not to assume that you know all there is to know about sudden medical conditions.

In Alkonis's case we will never have a definitive answer because sensible medical procedures were not carried out. That in itself is a serious abuse of duty by authorities.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Three years prison time for vehicular manslaughter seems reasonable and he’s already served a big chunk of that, suffered while incarcerated and compensated the victim’s family. The bottom line however, is that Japan can’t afford to continue to make this a thorn in relations with the US. There are larger more important geopolitical issues at stake (China, Taiwan, North Korea, etc). Alkonis will likely be pardoned by Biden and released in short order.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's not about law really, it's about how much compensation with an "out of court settlement". Hence his disgusting treatment.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Just so you know:

Soldiers are in armies.

Sailors are in navies.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Taiwanisnotchina

"I bet if he were Japanese, drunk, and said he didn't remember what happened, he would have gotten a suspended sentence."

If he were Japanese and drunk while driving he would have been sentenced much more severely. There is zero tolerance for drink driving here.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Seems to be a lot of armchair judges here. What this was was a horrible accident that irrevocably changed the lives, not for the better, of many people. Sadly, two people lost their life. Other people lost their "lives". Careers, relationships, etc. There is nothing good that can come out of a situation like this. Best to set back, judges, and let the professionals handle it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The man killed two innocent and unsuspecting people in an auto accident. An accident in which he was the sole active driver. He was taken into J-custody in proper accordance with SOFA rules.

Have his parents apologized to the surviving families?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Aly RustomToday 03:31 pm JST

They sprung Ghosn is because of the flawed justice system which incarcerates people indefinitely. As for Americans being trained to prejudicially distrust the Japanese judicial system, I would say NO ONE trained anyone to distrust the justice system here. The system is responsible for that.

There are three parts you can potentially object to - the fact he was incarcerated, the lack of medical care, and the ostensible lack of a lawyer, of which the most important accusation is probably the first, so I answered that. The medical care is a simple matter of him not showing any objective need for one - this may very well be him bleating after he decided he's going to try to claim he died to airliner air. The lawyer well, there's not any sign he was denied a lawyer at all, and he isn't shafted in the lawyer not accompanying him into the interrogation room - that's just the norm in Japan.

Unfortunately, Americans have shown themselves to be a flight risk, and one reason is clearly prejudice. Not many critics of Japan's legal system can even describe it in its theoretical form but they can cite cases from the 60s. This clear imbalance in their knowledge creates the prejudice and drives them think it is "OK" for them to escape (as you are clearly trying to justify Ghosn's escape here).

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

3 years is too short

2 ( +6 / -4 )

virusrexToday 03:05 pm JST

Still a completely invalid argument to say he did not suffered from a health problem. Millions of people walk or run everyday, some develop an urgent health problem with that normal activity.

The standard is "reasonable" doubt, not all doubt. Alkonis being the victim of a one million to one disease is not impossible, but it's not likely enough to "reasonably" doubt the idea that he wasn't as well rested as he should be, chose to drive, fell asleep and killed two people.

If the judge could not find anybody

Japanese judges do have some discretion to conduct their own investigations (one judge indeed took that course of action in the Atago collision incident), but it is not required, and any limits of this discretion aren't well known.

However, it can be surmised that had the judge chosen this course, Americans will scream bloody murder because that would be the judge "taking on some roles of the prosecutor" or "being against the defendant". Americans are used to the adversarial system, and won't look kindly on the judge investigating, especially if his investigation ends up discrediting "their guy".

In principle, responsibility for deciding what evidence to present against the defendant is with the prosecutor. For his reasons, he has chosen to not affix additional experts. We can assume that he knows the system and jurisprudence, and it doesn't require an expert for this scenario. This may be different from American practice but isn't unreasonable considering the factors cited previously that apply to this case (not making guarantees about other cases).

Barring jurisprudence otherwise, it is within the Judge's discretion to assign a low credibility rating for an expert. It would certainly be unfair to him to suddenly raise standards for the prosecution when rightly or wrongly that's not what the courts have been doing.

there decision was unreasonable without proving it first

Whether a decision is reasonable or not is a value judgment, a question more of law than for facts. However, this part was in the context of criticizing his decision to plead guilty while not really doing so.

If a defendant wants to put his chances on arguing the rationality and reasonableness of his actions, the correct move is to plead Not Guilty. Success means that he lacks the subjective element of the crime and does has committed no crime at all.

I'd point out that this defense is at odds with the idea of getting a US Navy quack to testify he died to airliner air. The former requires him to be rational and reasonable, the latter requires him to be so incapable of such he should be excused for his actions. Do you see why these two defenses don't mix?

Are you arguing he was a legal expert with full knowledge of every term he used in his declarations?

I expect his lawyer to educate him, or now that he is being prosecuted to look up what those words mean, or the basics of the Tripartite structure of criminal law.

If he wants to say he didn't do it, he's challenging the charge in its Objective Aspect and should plead Not Guilty.

If he wants to say he did it but he didn't intend to, nor was he indifferent, he is challenging the Subjective Aspect of an intentional crime and should plead Not Guilty to those.

If he's charged with a Crime of Negligence, and he wants to say he fully executed his duty of care and any risks he took are reasonable, he's challenging the Subjective Aspect of a crime of negligence and should plead Not Guilty.

If he isn't challenging either the Objective or Subjective aspects, we move to the second stage of assessing criminality. If he wants to try a Circumstance Excluding Criminality (a.k.a Justification, self-defense, necessity, conflicting duty ... etc), he pleads Not Guilty.

If he cannot justify his actions, he may still be try a Circumstance Excluding Culpability (a.k.a. excuse). If he wants to say it is inexigible for him to follow the law in that instance, he pleads Not Guilty.

If he wants to say he has no control over his actions because he is just weak to thin air ... he even faints on airliners ... then he pleads Not Guilty.

The only time you can combo a Guilty Plea with a Justification or Excuse is if you accept its imperfection, such as excessive self-defence. In this case, instead of trying to say he blacked out, first, he might agree that he didn't get enough sleep last night. He wouldn't be the first or last man to drive in such conditions, and by itself that wouldn't have been sufficient to cause the accident. Except (his quack testifies) he's a BIT more vulnerable than the average man to airliner air - it decreases his mental capabilities a bit more, and it takes him a bit longer to recover than most. Neither of these factors by themselves were serious enough to affect his regular life, so he hasn't been diagnosed until now, but the combination meant he was in a state of reduced (but still existent) mental capacity and unfortunately failed to make the correct, rational decision to pull over. It also unfortunately caused him to make one incorrect input (like that old geezer who pushed the accelerator rather than the brake), which caused him to crash into the victims. He was Conscious (kind of) the Whole Time. Regardless of whether this is the truth, at least he didn't contradict himself with this Narrative and the less exaggerated idea will be easier to sell while still reducing his culpability. Though the number who faint from airliner air is negligible, most people don't feel their sharpest stumbling off the plane so the idea that a person might be just slightly more vulnerable and had that exacerberated by lack of sleep is easier to empathize with than trying to sell "He Blacked Out. Without Warning. Really."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Relatives have said they were encouraged by Alkonis’ lawyer to have Alkonis cooperate, plead guilty

His lawyer gave him bad advice - if it was a medical emergency

For ex: if you have a heart attack while driving that resulted in killing people, who's at fault?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Kazu Shima - thanks for the authoritative sounding explanation of the ways of pleading. Understandable how wrong decisions were made by Alkonis and on his behalf. I kind of recall reading at the time of all of this that he was advised to plead guilty to lessen the thrust of losing a not guilty plea - which in Japan has it's own formidable outcomes - you know "The selfish person who shows no guilt or remorse will get the book and kitchen sink thrown at him". I'll have to investigate further to determine if this was or not.

Alkonis being the victim of a one million to one disease is not impossible

A million to one sounds very pie-in-the sky. Is that arbitrary. Why not a thousand to one etc? What qualifies the degree of impossibility? Is there a scale? Why does it have to be a disease?

quack

What is the point of using this terminology with it's derogatory implications? Is this a legal term? Does it give more value to your processing of events?

* ...is easier to empathize with than trying to sell *"He Blacked Out. Without Warning. Really."

Why is it an easier sell? Have you investigated or researched the possibility of sudden medical episodes impacting persons and their abilities to remain coherent and or safe? Supposing that such a scenario is implausible requires evidence to support. It appears no or little evidence was provided by the prosecutors to substantiate a similar claim other than relying on the afore mentioned supposed scale of probability.

Today in Australia a women imprisoned for 20 years for killing over a period of time her 4 children was exonerated. She was Aust's "Most Heinous Serial Killer". Hated by all. All evidence was based on probability and likelihood. Finally medical science came to her aid.

Different courses - but waxing lyrical with shaky truths is fraught with danger.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

BertieWooster

Today 07:35 am JST

Alkonis was arrested by Japanese authorities and was held for 26 days in solitary confinement at a police detention facility, was interrogated multiple times a day and was not given medical treatment or an evaluation.

> Certainly he was in the wrong. But it doesn't take nearly a month in solitary with multiple daily interrogation to establish the facts of the case. This is basically torture. There is something very wrong with the police/justice system here

Why complaining. Simple don't do crime and you will be fine. Another option is dont come to Japan.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Have his parents apologized to the surviving families?

His parents are not involved. If they apologise it will be used to get more compensation money by the surviving families.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

All I can say is if he has such tendency to pass out while driving at high altitude I hope he doesn’t drive in the US and kill more people.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So if I run over two of their family members in the Appalachian Mountains and claim an accident due to mountain sickness I could go right back to my country for some money without any custody and enjoy a vacation with my family? I'd go to America if I made some money...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Pilots only use/need oxygen above 10,000 feet. Mental and physical faculties are fine below that altitude.

Airliners are pressurized to 8,000 feet.

He came nowhere near 10,000 feet.

While an expert can say altitude sickness is possible at the altitude the family was at, it doesn’t make it probable. It’s possible aliens did it to him.

The wife and children didn’t have any problem.

The negligence was that he was exhausted and had little sleep before the trip. If you’re exhausted, don’t drive.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Navy JAGs did have access to him to advise him of his SOFA rights and provide him legal counsel. They just couldn't take him into U.S. custody like they usually can for minor violations of the law. Under the SOFA, Japanese authorities have the right to maintain custody of individuals who are suspected of a serious crime, e.g. incidents resulting in deaths or serious injuries. You can take issue with the fact that medical care may have been unreasonably withheld and personally object to the period and nature of the pre-trial incarceration, but they were in accordance with existing laws and the SOFA, and what any citizen could experience if they were the ones who just caused the deaths of two people.

We were told in Navy boot camp that in foreign lands, they're not 'foreigners' - you are. And you're subject to their laws when you're off base and/or are in a city.

Recall earlier this year the soldier King, who was in a Korean jail for disorderly behavior, vandalism, hate crimes, child porn on his smartphone. Then he was court-martialed and was to be given his 'Big Chicken Dinner' and a stay in Leavenworth Hotel. He bolted across the DMZ into NK. After a few months he was kicked out of NK. Even Communist regimes don't tolerate or like pedos. So he was sent back to SK, charged with desertion/defection and is back in the USA to do his time for the crimes. Wah.

Of course it's the same deal even if you're a civilian tourist. Don't commit a crime or do anything stupid.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

NicolòToday 01:16 am JST

So if I run over two of their family members in the Appalachian Mountains and claim an accident due to mountain sickness I could go right back to my country for some money without any custody and enjoy a vacation with my family? I'd go to America if I made some money...

With a two year detention in Japanese jail, further detention in the US, and an impact to your military career, sure you could do that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There are three parts you can potentially object to - the fact he was incarcerated, the lack of medical care, and the ostensible lack of a lawyer, of which the most important accusation is probably the first, so I answered that. The medical care is a simple matter of him not showing any objective need for one - this may very well be him bleating after he decided he's going to try to claim he died to airliner air. The lawyer well, there's not any sign he was denied a lawyer at all, and he isn't shafted in the lawyer not accompanying him into the interrogation room - that's just the norm in Japan.

The fact that that is the norm in Japan is what is troubling in the first place.

Unfortunately, Americans have shown themselves to be a flight risk, and one reason is clearly prejudice.

How are Americans a flight risk? Carlos is not American.

Not many critics of Japan's legal system can even describe it in its theoretical form but they can cite cases from the 60s.

Nearly a month of detention without being charged- and even after being charged having to spend months if not years in detention waiting trial? Don't make me laugh.

This clear imbalance in their knowledge creates the prejudice and drives them think it is "OK" for them to escape (as you are clearly trying to justify Ghosn's escape here).

Anyone has the right to escape a hostage system. And if Ghosn was Japanese escaping from China I doubt you would be so scathing in your criticism.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The stupidity in the replies is appaling.

1) Held in solitary for 26 days WITHOUT MEDICAL CARE

”But there was no medical evidence of passing out or mountain sickness”

Really?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Also, to the person saying he never went to 10,000 feet…. They went there to climb it, right? Have you ever climbed Mt Fuji? Sounds like you don’t have a clue. I’ve climbed it twice. MANY tourists buy a small portable oxygen bottle at station 5, because it absolutely IS above 10,000ft.

“Fuji is serious alpine terrain and is not to be underestimated. At 3,776m (12,388ft) the oxygen on the summit has two-thirds the density of normal oxygen at sea level which can cause altitude sickness or AMS.”

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Michael T Burns

Check your facts before you come in here. They went for a family drive up Fuji as far as they could go to the fifth stage, not even 8,000 ft. No high altitude mountain climbing involved here, especially with their three little kids. They may as well have taken a road trip up to Denver for lunch.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kazu Shima - thanks for the authoritative sounding explanation of the ways of pleading.

Thank you. You can find this out by buying books on criminal law. They cost only a few thousand yen each. I don't claim to be a qualified legal professional or anything, but we are really talking Year 1 stuff (countries around the world really should teach this stuff in High School if you ask me - it's more useful than Ancient Literature). If Japanese is hard for you, you can buy Principles of German Criminal Law by Bohlander in English, because Japanese Criminal Law is an offshoot from the German so they use virtually the same basic principles

A million to one sounds very pie-in-the sky. Is that arbitrary. Why not a thousand to one etc? What qualifies the degree of impossibility? Is there a scale? Why does it have to be a disease?

Can you imagine airliners getting away with 8000 feet air if the rate of people suddenly blacking out is as high as one in a thousand? We'd be hearing about multiple people blacking out in flights every day. They might be there somewhere in the mass, but the "acceptable" rate would be closer to 1:1,000,000 or more than 1:1,000.

Does it give more value to your processing of events?

Look, it's obvious I'm not very convinced - and I've given some reasons in previous posts. And while I don't think the full judgment has leaked yet, the parts we hear would suggest the judge wasn't very convinced either. If I'm not saying it, I'm still thinking it. But the main point is what he's saying - and how he can't even get his story to be compatible with each other.

Why is it an easier sell?

Because more probable, less extreme things are more plausible prima facie. It's the difference between saying you can run 100m in 12 or 13 seconds, and you being in that elite group that can do it in under 10.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He was a naval officer in undersea warfare...but he knows nothing about pressure effects, and has not tried any tests below water implying pressure like diving.

In all cases, he was the one driver.

Only the victims can decide they could show empathy or not, not him to deny them that right.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think he got away with a rather lenient punishment. He spent a relative short time in a Japanese prison and with compensation of USD 1.65 million (likely paid out by the car insurance) for this accident which caused the death of 2 innocent people.

His family says no prison time is appropriate.

“When the Biden Administration is presented with the complete set of facts and circumstances surrounding the case, we’re confident they will promptly recognize the absurdity of Ridge’s conviction,”

Not sure about what might happen to a driver causing a similar accident in the States.

No prison time? Are you sure?

His family should not complain about how his case was handled in Japan, just my opinion.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kazuaki - thanks for your reply and the relevant info re law.

Actually I don't think you've addressed my queries at all.

Key point ...What qualifies the degree of impossibility? Is there a scale? Why does it have to be a disease?

I asked this because what did the judge base his decisions on? The chance being slight in his learned opinion or clear medical verification?

Re Alkonis's story compatibility - I gave a reason earlier thast suggests he may have well been instructed to follow the "plead guilty path, it'll help in the long run" This needs more research.

And finally re probability again - I mentioned the case of the woman in Australia who was cleared of all charges of murdering her 4 young kids after being jailed for 20 years. It's a fascinating look into how the 1 in a million chance (your scale) of being innocent, held nil against the "common sense" claim that she did it. Science came to her rescue. Please read her story. Easily available on line.

There is a parallel to be drawn in the case against Alkonis. Unfortunately in Alkonis's case it appears the necessary medical examinations to support his opinions were not carried out and 20 years or more on, will never make this clear.

It's also a good reminder that often nothing is as it seems and courts have a duty of care in searching thoroughly all angles to determine a just result. Basing guilty or innocent verdicts on probability, a reckoning or an educated guess comes up short imo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Unfortunately, another example of American exceptionalism thinking, as even the British had to endure, when a US woman was able to escape to the USA with the help of US services after she drove a teenager to death. This thinking may be less surprising as a victorious power against Japan and Germany than against its closest ally

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Don't get me wrong.

We need the USA to stand together against the People's Republic of China, Russia and the like. but on the basis of common values, on an equal footing. Under mutual recognition of the respective laws, sentences imposed must be served in the respective country without transfer to the home country of the perpetrators. This also applies to fleeing fathers.

A relationship like Rome's with its vassal states does not build real trust and makes alliances fragile.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

That man has had some good luck to follow his bad luck. I don't mean he shouldn't carry some responsibility, he should. But it is strange to compare this with todays JT news "Building management firm ordered to pay damages over death of student killed in landslide", damages of about 7000 US dollars to a family for the loss of their daughter.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The value placed upon of Life in Japan is significantly less than that elsewhere... Legally.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The standard is "reasonable" doubt, not all doubt

The expert's opinion is that there is reasonably possible for this to happen in this case, dismissing this without having any expert refuting this claim is the huge problem. Dismissal of a medical opinion by a judge is not valid, specially when the prosecution was apparently unable to find any doctor that say this is an unreasonable scenario.

Americans will scream bloody murder because that would be the judge "taking on some roles of the prosecutor" or "being against the defendant".

That does absolutely nothing to put the judge in a better posistion, only make the prosecutors also inept. The judge have an expert's opinion on the side of the defense, the prosecution have none, that is their problem. Ignoring the expert's opinion then becomes a problem in the actions of the judge.

this part was in the context of criticizing his decision to plead guilty while not really doing so.

A decision that you finally recognize come from the advice of his lawyers, that did it on the expectation of leniency that was not granted. It is not the same to recognize being guilty on not being able to recognize an exceptional health problem he did not had ever before than from the easily understood dangers of being tired to the point of sleeping on the wheel.

I'd point out that this defense is at odds with the idea of getting a US Navy quack to testify he died to airliner air. 

Nobody died of airliner air, you have not proved anybody being a quack, a recognized expert said the scenario explaining the accident is perfectly possible. Accusing people of being quacks without any evidence of lack of professional capacity is a sure way to demonstrate your arguments have no basis so you reduce yourself to make personal attacks.

If he wants to say he didn't do it, he's challenging the charge in its Objective Aspect and should plead Not Guilty.

He is saying he did do it, failed to recognize his unexpected condition as something that would risk accidents, he is not saying he just fell sleep while driving, something obviously dangerous and that therefore should be punished differently.

Pretending the situation could only be explained by arguing complicated vulnerabilities undiagnosed makes no sense. The health problem could have happened only this once and that would still be enough to explain why the accident happened.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They fell asleep most likely because they didn’t sleep the night before starting driving there about 4AM. That was clearly reported.

Altitude sickness occurs on the ascent, not the descent. And they didn’t come close to the altitude where it could occur.

The rationalizations are laughable.

Again, if you're tired, don’t drive or stop driving until you're alert. Doing otherwise is negligence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All I can say is if he has such tendency to pass out while driving at high altitude I hope he doesn’t drive in the US and kill more people.

What tendency are you talking about? his position is that this happened once. Have you never had somethhing health related happening to you only once in your life?

While an expert can say altitude sickness is possible at the altitude the family was at, it doesn’t make it probable. It’s possible aliens did it to him.

The point is not that it is probably for this to happen, is that the explanation is perfectly possible, the prosecutors had all the opportunity to bring an expert and say the likehood of this happening was too low to be taken into account, but they did not (maybe because it is not such a low probability after all). Nevertheless the judge just dismissed this testimony based in his own expertise on the medical field, which is nothing.

Can you imagine airliners getting away with 8000 feet air if the rate of people suddenly blacking out is as high as one in a thousand?

It is the most common medical emergency on flights.

https://www.travelersunited.org/fainting-on-planes-at-35000-feet-is-no-fun/

And this is only taking into account episodes where the syncope is recognized by others and last enough so they get worried the patient can't regain consciousness after trying for a while to wake them up. It would be logical to expect short episodes to go unrecognized, but would be enough to cause accidents if the person were driving.

the parts we hear would suggest the judge wasn't very convinced either. 

Which is the whole problem, the judge can't pretend to have the expertise in the topic, so him being not convinced would be irrelevant, the prosecution was unable to refute this expert opinion with one of their own, so the only resource the judge have is to refer to the expert as the person that is better prepared to know about the explanation offered.

He was a naval officer in undersea warfare...but he knows nothing about pressure effects, and has not tried any tests below water implying pressure like diving.

What makes you think he knows nothing? knowing about something and experiencing it is a very different thing, specially when the organ affected is the brain.

another example of American exceptionalism thinking

None of the arguments used depends on the nationality of anybody.

Altitude sickness occurs on the ascent, not the descent. And they didn’t come close to the altitude where it could occur.

Altitude sickness happens both times, and the altitude is enough for this to happen to some people.

Again, an expert clearly and explicitly said this is a perfectly possible scenarion, pretending you have a personal appeal to authority to contradict him (while making claims that are easily disproved as false) is not as strong an argument as you think it is.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Find any single case of someone passing out from being at the altitude they were. Find it.

The procedure for a sudden loss of pressure in an airplane is to descend to 10,000 feet where life is good. They drove, not hiked, to 7,500 feet. It can certainly make you light headed.

That's why you don't drive until you acclimate yourself if you're sickly or weak.

Anything is possible, so maybe the flat earth caused it, right? Where are all of the other "accidents" from people passing out?

If you're tired or tired and dizzy, do not drive until you feel better. Why is that so so hard to understand?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Find any single case of someone passing out from being at the altitude they were. Find it.

That is an irrelevant argument, against the opinion of an expert the argument you need now is to prove he is wrong and this is not a realistic possibility. The actual irrational part is to think something described in detail, that happens to some frequency to some people even at relatively low altitude becomes suddenly impossible to happen if the person is behind the wheel.

That's why you don't drive until you acclimate yourself if you're sickly or weak.

It is of course equally irrelevant the conditions where this problem is frequent, because the defense was not that this was something likely to happen, on the contrary this was described as something not being expected to happen, so it was not recognized.

Anything is possible, so maybe the flat earth caused it, right? Where are all of the other "accidents" from people passing out?

Can you find a qualified expert saying this?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tick tock...

Sen. Mike Lee calls on President Biden to free Ridge Alkonis from federal prison in Los Angeles

https://www.deseret.com/2023/12/15/24003269/sen-mike-lee-calls-on-president-biden-to-free-ridge-alkonis-from-federal-prison-in-los-angeles

1 ( +1 / -0 )

browny1Dec. 16 05:21 pm JST

Yesterday, I had another encounter with 8000 feet air. During my encounter with said air, no one on the flight fainted and I digested an entire book on the Folbigg case (The Big Folbigg Mistake, by John Kerr, published 2022).

First, the case shows that everyone relies on probability, not just Japan. Ultimately, it is always probability. DNA tests can have errors, at a certain probability. The testimony of experts can have errors, and if two experts oppose each other ultimately one will be more correct than another, but again that's probability.

Second, the Folbigg case has differences to its detriment. The most obvious being that while Alkonis was indisputedbly behind the wheel and crashed into the victims - thus the Objective Aspect is a done deal, there is zero direct evidence Folbigg killed her kids. Instead, her actus rea (common law case, use common law language) was fudged together on the weak basis that she was alone with the kids.

The use of "psycholinguists" is worse than its equivalent applications in Russia. In a stereotypical case in Russia, that the defendant wrote those words (Objective Aspect) is indisputed, and the psycholinguist is only used as an expert on the value of the words to prove an extremism charge. In this case, the psycholinguists (they even brought in the Mossad...) were used to fudge an entire motive and an exceptional mental state out of words in her diary to create a scenario where her actus rea is even a serious possibility. The mere presence of a motive is very far from saying she did it, but that's what happened. For that matter, if we hypothetically accept the premise she killed the kids but she was in this exceptional mental state, the latter would probably have reduced her culpability in a Continental Law country, but all it did was sink her in the Common Law one.

Finally, her defenders were, many years after the conviction, able to find very specific conditions (genes) in those infants that raise the probability of their natural deaths from incidental to very significant. If anything, it used to be believed this mutation is so lethal embryos with it would be entirely nonviable, and only later was it realized some people can live with it after all. Anyway, the lethality is more likely than a frustrated mother killing her kids (after all, frustrated mothers are very common, but those who are sufficiently motivated to kill their kids rare). Alkonis is not known to have such "convenient" genes.

virusrexDec. 17 07:31 am JST

The expert's opinion is that there is reasonably possible for this to happen in this case

The expert hasn't been sufficiently convincing that the prosecutor had a "case to answer", so to speak. His exact performance on the court aside, there are two things against him - the manifest unlikelihood of the scenario he proffers, and his credibility. American "experts" have a poor reputation.

One example would be Professor Cleary, who taught law in Japan and was brought in by the Taylors as an "expert" on Japanese criminal law. He ended up putting out points that are at the same level as a JapanToday commentator, and he should have known are contradicted by Japanese jurisprudence if he even read a Japanese Criminal Law text. So either he's really incompetent (a true legal version of a "quack") or he is willing to lie for his countrymen.

(Obviously, I was exaggerating about "dying" to airliner air, but you know what I mean there. And here I really am not exaggerating because I literally screenshotted the relevant portions of my Japanese Criminal Law textbook to answer the same god-darned points!!!

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jL0a7SXeqV3sWhh7a1akjqnJZQIkYYPbQ63vTuypifE/edit#slide=id.p

It's that bad...)

Either way, after such examples do you think any American "expert" would have an uphill climb establishing even his basic integrity? I'd also note in that case, neither the Japanese authorities nor the American lawyer representing their interests in the US court felt the need to dig up a third-party "neutral expert" to counter Professor Cleary. The Taylors, as you must know, ended up going to Japan - and presumably after being told that whatever Kool-Aid the likes of Professor Cleary told them won't fly decided to plead guilty.

A decision that you finally recognize come from the advice of his lawyers

Did I say that here? Well, we can still dispose of this point right here and now. It's not clear whose idea it was, but "Tactical Pleas of Guilty" are not unknown. It is known that American consulate officials have advised Americans to plead guilty due to their prejudices on the Japanese Legal System.

https://nymag.com/vindicated/2016/11/truth-lies-and-videotape-at-the-kawasaki-kmart.html

I say prejudice because even after her fake plea (where she at least played it right and acted very contrite) and got her Deferred Prosecution, the police did not call it a day and continued to find the true circumstances behind her case.

But back to Alkonis, Tactical Pleas are a choice, but they come with consequences in terms of what you can say from that point on. It's not clear what combination of Japanese & American legal advice and Alkonis' own ideas caused the defence he finally tried, but it clearly didn't work.

All I'm saying is that it is very understandable it did not work because it is a Worst of All Worlds, theoretically oxymoronic defense. It suggests to the judges Alkonis bought the Kool-Aid about the Japanese legal system (which kind of flies into any song he may sing about liking Japan), it tells them he's not really repentant (which is why you get reductions from pleading guilty) but trying to be cagey. Plus he killed two people.

If you want to try cagey defenses that's your choice you have to realize it can backfire on you hard if the defense fails.

He is saying he did do it, failed to recognize his unexpected condition as something that would risk accident

If his condition is "unexpected", then he is excusing himself, because he's arguing it's reasonable for him to not stop. He may really be better off if he just accepted the story about him falling asleep on the wheel. He won't be the first or last person to try driving fatigued. He can sing a song and dance about him having to do Family Time with his kids when his work lets him - a sentiment that would ring well with overworked Japanese and would explain why he took the chance to drive there and back anyway. Still won't make it excusing, but it would be a mitigating factor. Oh, and if he really can't squeeze more than US$1.65 million from his credit lines, he can always offer something like giving up 20% of his future earnings for life - if he pleads guilty he needs to LOOK contrite (whether he really is is between him and his conscience) and an American who offers a fraction of what Americans famously throw around for mere defamation doesn't look contrite regardless of what "market prices" in Japan are.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The expert hasn't been sufficiently convincing that the prosecutor had a "case to answer",

He is the expert, neither the prosecutor nor the judge can appeal to their expertise to say the expert is not convincing, that would come from another expert contradicting the first. This invalid appeal to expertise is a known problem that requires being corrected, not pretend it is something valid.

The fact that nobody could find an expert to contradict him would indicate his testimony is perfectly credible, that or that the prosecution is deeply incompetent and could not think of doing this supposedly very simple thing, and the judge by making a decision as if the prosecution had called an expert.

One example would be Professor Cleary

With the huge difference that the judge has a valid appeal to authority about law in Japan, that does not apply to the medical field, even if the judge feels confident in his evaluation of medical arguments that is not a valid position to take.

And here I really am not exaggerating

Yet you just said you were, contradicting yourself do not make your arguments more solid, but less.

Either way, after such examples do you think any American "expert" would have an uphill climb establishing even his basic integrity?

He is a recognized professional on the field with a license, since there is nobody with an equivalent appeal to authority saying the expert is wrong or lying that is enough, anything compared with zero is still more.

neither the Japanese authorities nor the American lawyer representing their interests in the US court felt the need to dig up a third-party "neutral expert" to counter Professor Cleary.

Which is the whole problem, dismissing the testimony of an expert without any valid reason is not how a court should behave. They did not make any argument against the appeal to expertise, they did not make a valid appeal to their own expertise in medical matters, they did not bring an expert to say the scenario was not realistically believable, they just dismissed the expert as if that was something valid, it is not.

Did I say that here? 

You said you expected the decisions made to be guided by the lawyers involved, there is no other way to interpret this as being part of your expectations, are you now contradicting yourself and saying the defendant acted against their lawyers advice, that would be again something else you would be claiming without any evidence of it.

they come with consequences in terms of what you can say from that point on. 

So your argument now is that his plea of negligence failing to recognize an unexpected and uncommon health problem can magically be transformed in a plea of negligence for sleeping at the wheel?

If his condition is "unexpected", then he is excusing himself, because he's arguing it's reasonable for him to not stop.

No, it is not. That is the point of the plea of being negligent in recognizing this unexpected problem as serious and something that would impair his driving. There is absolutely nothing in the definition of a problem being unexpected that would mean there was nothing he could have done to stop the accident, it is simply not as clear and obvious as being sleepy.

He won't be the first or last person to try driving fatigued

Which is the claim you are making, not him. You are still trying to make an appeal to your own authority to make the plea of the defendant and your own equivalent, that is still not valid.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The fact that nobody could find an expert to contradict him would indicate his testimony is perfectly credible,

That's too optimistic. At most you can argue it could mean his testimony is perfectly credible. A possibility that's greatly diminished by

a) the judge not seeming to favor it. He saw the lob. You read about Alkonis and his family claiming there was a lob and you just assumed it was a proper lob. I'd also point out if there is any political wind as far as the judge is concerned, it'd be finding a way to get Alkonis off, simply because of ... just look at yourself Virurex - I'd say that the Japanese State is wishing there is some presentable way within their internal law and system to get this Alkonis off and do so.

b) the fact he's arguing against very common knowledge and experience. 8000 feet air is common experience. If he was say at 12000 feet which would be visited by only a minority and the judge may not have personal experience of it, that doesn't stick as well, but available information suggests Alkonis was at about 8000 feet, max.

I grant you that common knowledge and understandings can be wrong, but it does present a hill for the expert to explain away, and again, you simply don't know how well he did so.

c) An American's low credibility in this situation - a point I notice you aren't fighting back on. A license at best means he has knowledge - it says little about whether he's willing to favor telling the truth over protecting one of his countrymen.

The prosecutor decided that getting an expert is an unjustified cost and risk, and he seems to be right, at least as far as the Japanese Court system is concerned. I've also demonstrated (though it shouldn't matter b/c Japan is not obliged to follow the US) that US Courts don't automatically require "counter-experts" either - I grant you no two cases are 100% congruent, but I'd say the argument favors me.

Finally, I notice you have not considered the possibility the testimony was never as good or covered as much area as you wish it was, even if the judge deems it credible. For example though the information is sparse, the Judge is known to have considered that the problem would lessen as they reach the floor of the mountain. Did the expert's testimony allow (by silence) this possibility? If so, there are several possibilities, such as

A) The Defense Advocate is incompetent and didn't draw appropriate testimony from his expert to seal off this (frankly rather clearly forseeable) possibility.

B) The American doctor let him know quietly before the trial a "pro-Alkonis" version on this sub-issue is not likely to survive challenges, and the Defense Advocate decided the best chance was to not raise this subissue at all to reduce the chance it'd be subjected to a devastating cross examination.

You said you expected the decisions made to be guided by the lawyers involved,

I said the lawyers should have explained the definitions of the words to him, which is not exactly the same thing. Anyway, ultimately it doesn't matter if the crappy answers you put on your test paper are your own, your mothers', or from an outside "expert". People should not be surprised when a crappy answer gets a low mark.

So your argument now is that his plea of negligence failing to recognize an unexpected and uncommon health problem can magically be transformed in a plea of negligence for sleeping at the wheel?

I don't have to disagree with that. First, he already plead guilty. Second, even if hadn't plead guilty, he's F-ed as soon as he had to admit he swerved 5 minutes before the crash and tried to press on. Whether the swerve was due to fatigue or him being "one in a million" makes little difference to his guilt. All the whole diversion did was establish his non-remorse (or, if you insist we can't read his heart, at least optically it looks that way) and expend the court's time for little purpose.

What do you think looks worse anyway, you doing what millions of drivers must have done and the odds caught up with you, or you coming up with a pie-in-the-sky story? What do you think the judge is more likely to have personally experienced (and thus empathize)? Driving while fatigued (he might even have driven while drunk without anyone noticing) or fainting from 8000 feet air? If you are going to bet your freedom on the pie-in-the-sky story, that's your defense choice but do expect it to come down on you like bricks when it doesn't work - you won't be "back to where you started", you'd be "worse off".

There is absolutely nothing in the definition of a problem being unexpected that would mean there was nothing he could have done to stop the accident, it is simply not as clear and obvious as being sleepy.

You might not be arguing there's nothing he could have done to stop the accident. but you are already arguing it's reasonable (because it is "not as clear and obvious") for him to choose to not stop if he's suffering from this condition, rather than if he's swerving from being sleepy. You are fighting the charge at the Subjective Aspect. If the establishment of the charge was interrupted at the Subjective Aspect, he did not commit a crime and would be freed. Again, the correct plea for such an argument is Not Guilty.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's too optimistic. At most you can argue it could mean his testimony is perfectly credible

It is, specially unopposed by any expert.

the judge not seeming to favor it.

Still irrelevant since the judge have no appeal to authority on medical matters.

I'd also point out if there is any political wind as far as the judge is concerned, it'd be finding a way to get Alkonis off

Political wind or not the judge is not justified in ignoring an experts opinion just becasue he (that has no qualifications in the matter) disagrees.

the fact he's arguing against very common knowledge and experience

No, he is not. There is no "common knowledge" that disproves the expert's testimony that the scenario is perfectly possible. People running without problems for several minutes do not disprove that someone can have serious health problems by running a shorter distance, this argument makes no sense.

but it does present a hill for the expert to explain away,

And he did, he has a valid appeal to authority in the field.

An American's low credibility in this situation

Still irrelevant because he is not opposed by anybody of any nationality, so the judge have no other valid option but to take his testimony as expert.

Finally, I notice you have not considered the possibility the testimony was never as good or covered as much area as you wish it was,

I believe it was better and covered more area than the opposite expert, because there was none. You keep arguing that it would be trivially easy to find someone to contradict the expert, but the prosecution could not do that, that still means the testimony is better than the noting that opposed it.

The Defense Advocate is incompetent and didn't draw appropriate testimony from his expert to seal off this

The testimony was not refuted by anybody with a valid appeal to authority, that means it still stands as enough to prove what it was meant to do, the problem is again a judge pretending to be a doctor and opposing the testimony with his invalid opinion as if it was equal, that problem would still be the same if every head of neurology of the country were cited.

The American doctor let him know quietly before the trial a "pro-Alkonis" version on this sub-issue is not likely to survive challenges

There was no challenge, imagining what could have happened is not an argument to prove this possibility is more than just imagination.

Anyway, ultimately it doesn't matter

It does when you keep trying to misrepresent his appeal as if it was done against valid legal advice.

Whether the swerve was due to fatigue or him being "one in a million" makes little difference to his guilt.

According to what legal argument? it should be obvious that recognizing negligence in recognizing something difficult to understand is not even close to recognizing negligence in a very common cause of traffic accidents.

What do you think the judge is more likely to have personally experienced (and thus empathize)?

An event that happened once, without consequence and any repetition that he did not give too much importance, people don't sleep at the wheel as commonly as you think they are.

You might not be arguing there's nothing he could have done to stop the accident. but you are already arguing it's reasonable (because it is "not as clear and obvious") for him to choose to not stop if he's suffering from this condition

No, I am arguing it was a easier to understand mistake because it does not correspond to the common and easily recognized event that frequently causes accidents, so he is guilty of not doing what in retrospective should be the correct action, but not on something terribly obvious as wrong.

You are fighting the charge at the Subjective Aspect.

He is, because that is according to him what happened, and no, it does not mean he did not commit a crime, just that it was not so easily recognized as such, still responsible for the accident, just not as clearly as you claim as the only possibility.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As an American, he should have served his full sentence in Japan for killing 2 people. Entitled Americans think just b cause he was in the military he deserves special treatment. No. Japan should have kept him!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

https://www.foxnews.com/media/wife-navy-officer-jailed-japan-calls-biden-commute-sentence-us-sends-him-prison-upon-return

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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