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Defense makes a mess of killer's appeal

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On April 24, the Hiroshima High Court sentenced a 27-year-old man to death for the 1999 murder of Yayoi Motomura, 23, and her 11-month-old child Yuka, at their home in Hikari, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The case drew media and public attention because such a brutal crime was committed by a minor. The defendant had earlier been given a life sentence by the Yamaguchi District Court in 2000 for strangling Motomura, raping her afterwards and then killing her daughter.

The decision was confirmed by the high court in 2002 but the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in 2006 after quashing the high court ruling, taking issue with the reasoning of the lower court judges who ruled the sentence was appropriate because the murders were not premeditated and the man was a minor at the time.

The defense counsel for the man, whose identity is still being withheld as the crime was committed when he was a minor, immediately appealed the latest decision to the Supreme Court. The 20-strong lawyers group for the defendant insisted that he was not responsible for his actions, and said the defendant had recently made statements like: "I thought I could revive the woman by having sex with her," and "I left the body of the baby because I believed Doraemon would do something to help her.”

However, the presiding judge dismissed such claims. "It is unnatural and unreasonable for the defendant to be silent for six and half years after indictment if it contradicts the facts.''

Some critics say the defense's strategy did their client more harm than good. “The lawyers focused on denial of the act and failed to show the immature personality of the defendant to judges who finally made the decision that the defendant was lying," said Jin Imaeda who is a former member of the defense team.

The defendant has already appealed to the Supreme Court, but journalist Kazuo Washimi said, “The defense will need a better strategy because judges these days care about the public's sympathy for the victim. They cannot ignore it. So the final appeal to the Supreme Court will most likely be refused."

Imaeda suggested that the defense release their client's photo and name to the public. He adds, “I thought if we had made his face and name public, we would have more sympathy for him because he looked very immature for his real age like he was a junior high school student. I thought the public would understand his 'immaturity' at the time of the case. However, my proposal was not accepted.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

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9 Comments
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I think it's disgusting that anybody would suggest that Doraemon would aid a murdering rapist!!!!!

This man must die!

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The crime he committed was despicable and whilst I am sure any man deserves a defense, I am surprised that he has 20 lawyers who were prepared to argue his case. Show his name and photo, it does not dismiss the fact that he seems to show little if any remorse.

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Good or bad defense lawyers -> good riddance to bad rubbish. Name him, shame him, and execute him.

This poor woman Yayoi, who was raped and murdered along with her absolutely helpless 11 month old Yuka, will never get their lives back. The last remaining hour/minutes of Yayoi's life was filled with pure terror at the hands of this "minor".

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A minor ? I believe that he was an 18 year old man at the time and strong enough to murder a mother and her baby. Minor what rubbish. Not premeditated ? He admitted that he intended to rape the poor woman. Is that not a premeditated assault (which ended in a double murder) ?

And that group of (20 ?) defence lawyers who tried to justify those ridiculous excuses for the murder and rape of the mother and the murder of the poor baby, should be struck-off the bar association for good. I hope they sleep well at night.

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I'm so sick and tired of defendant attorneys' despicable tactics to delay the trial intentionally for 9 years. Their behavior is the one to undermine an already corrupted JP judicial system. Why don’t the Supreme Court bar all of those ill-minded a-holes from practicing the laws for good?

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who pays this "defense counsel"?

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I think a cut of the Doraemon merchandising goes to his defense payments. There is a small disclaimer on the bottom of all lunch boxes stating a portion of the proceeds go to his defense.

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he's not responsible for his actions? who is me,her,her child? this is out of control.the defense atty's should do time as well if thats how they plan on defending him,and insulting our intellagence.screw him and the horse he rode in on.

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So this guy gets the death penalty, but Yuki Muto, who killed and dismembered the body of his sister, Azumi, gets seven years? And people wonder why the Japanese justice system is such a joke......

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