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Do you think Tatsuya Ichihashi, the suspect in the killing of British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker, should have been allowed to write a book for publication before his trial?

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Yes, before being indicted he still enjoys all the rights and liberties like any other japanese citizen. This does include freedom of speech...

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No, ebisen, you are completely missing the point. He is guilty, we already know that. This book is an insult to the memory of a murdered girl and her family and is an abomination.

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He is guilty, we already know that.

He's innocent until proven guilty. Besides, Japan has no "Son of Sam" laws. He's free to do whatever he wants.

RR

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He should be able to write and have the book published but he shouldn't be allowed to make a profit off of it; however, if the book emotionally influences people, the members of the jury shouldn't be allowed to read it.

And as for guilt: he hasn't even been in a court how can he be guilty? After the trial, then we can decide if he's guilty of the crime he's charged with. (Prosecutors might charge him with manslaughter or abandonment of a body, not first-degree murder.)

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Assuming he does everything else he's supposed to do while in detention he should be able to do what ever he wants in his free time. The publishing company should also be allowed to publish whatever they want. He should not be allowed to benefit from any profit the book might make between the time of his conviction and the time he finishes his sentence, if he ever does.

Why anyone apart from his mental health case worker and scholars of the criminal mind would want to read it though, beats me. If it makes a profit that's a terrible black mark against popular Japanese society. I for one would not give him a penny for his thoughts.

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I voted yes and I am curious to know the reasons of those voting no. If you fear that by writing a book, he will profit financially from it, he won't. If you think that by writing a book, it will influence the jury to give him a lighter sentence, it won't (not when the grisly details of the crime are presented in court)

I can see how criminologists might take an interest in the book. Also, it might answer some of the questions that readers on JT kept arguing about from the time of the murder to his capture - questions like what did he say to manipulate Miss Hawker up to his apartment (I have always wanted to know what he said); what were his intentions, what actually happened (probably best left to an autopsy report), where did he go that first night he escaped; and so on.

I certainly won't be buying the book but I can see how this case would attract some readers.

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yes. dont want to read it, but yes.

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Yes, for two reasons:

1) He is a suspect, not a convicted criminal. If he is found innocent, he is entitled to make some money on how the criminal justice system failed spectacularly in such a high-profile murder case.

2) If he is guilty, he's going to need a lot of money to pay the Hawker family for damages in what I presume will be a civil suit to follow the criminal trial.

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I voted Yes, he has the right to write any book he wants.

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So can any of the 90 who voted "NO" explain why he shouldn't have been allowed to write the book?

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easy he shudnt be allowed to do something that cud influence his trial, afterwards go ahead, its that simple, most countries you cant do this kind of crap other wise cud you imagine to stuff coming out in the states.

In Cda they even can have news blackouts so as not to influence trials before they happen, that is going too far imo but it is perfectly sensible to keep those accused from influencing things before trial

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I was also a YES voter. for the reasons listed above by everyone else.

To be honest this hasnt been translated into English yet, as far as I know, so I sales cannot be huge enough to make him any "huge" money. Not that he needs money though.

To be honest I doubt it will influence his trial either. Ichihashis fan base are not going to be the jurors. The book focuses on what he did on the run. Not the murder itself.

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Definitely "no".

I'm not completely sure what the laws are in Japan, but in my country, there are laws against publishing information about a case that may unduly influence the legal process once someone is set for trial. Who knows what he's said and how the media may run with and potentially affect the case. Let the case be determined first in court using the facts, then he can publish it after the trial is over, but not until then.

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donkusai.

In the book he is NOT talking about the "murder', etc so what is published should not affect the "murder" trial.

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yes. The media wrote the equivalent of a hundred books before his trial, so why can't he?

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Zenny11,

you do realise that while he doesnt go into the details he does admit killing her. Surely that would have to affect his ability to get a fair trial.

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From what I read he said he didn't want to kill her but he accepts that he caused her death. Which I think would echo his plea at the trial.

Either way the book has been published.

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I'm interested in reading the book, so I voted yes. But he should NOT be allowed to profit off of it.

All this is assuming that what he wrote in the book is true, not lies intended to gain him sympathy.

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Borscht, Cleo and USNin have it.

Write, yes. Profit, no.

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I voted NO because he's a piece of scum who should never be allowed to have any kind of influence on society, whether he profits or not!! He's already admitted to killing the girl and gone into grisly details of what he did, and what he did to himself since going on the run. He's a piece of crap and does not deserve the privilege of expressing any of his own thoughts.

All you bleeding hearts who said YES, obviously don't care enough about the effect his book will have on some. And unfortunately, there will be those morons out there that think he's cool.

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I guess all of the "NO" voters do not understand "democracy" in all it's aspects. There are some rights ALL citizens have, regardless of what they have done (at least until proven guilty of something).

We can't shut up somebody "just because I freakin' said so", or "just because I believe it is wrong if he talks"...

Those who can't agree to this should look to better places like North Korea or (a softer example) - China for what happens if those rights are arbitrarily ignored.

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All you bleeding hearts who said YES, obviously don't care enough about the effect his book will have on some. And unfortunately, there will be those morons out there that think he's cool.

so you are talking censorship now? don't be ridiculous. if one moron out of a thousand thinks he is cool what are you going to do about it? ban all media reference to him?

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I think anyone who is detained for a crime that is serious enough for bail to be denied should not be able to write a book while awaiting trial. It just seems like a bit of a contradiction to me that they can imprison someone for murder, based on solid evidence, and take away pretty much all that person's freedoms and yet the suspect can get a pen and a bunch of paper on which to write a book for publication.

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Allowed to write the book? yes. Should it have been published before his trial? absolutely not, which is why this question is poorly worded and unfair.

Zenny11, ebisen, proudnippon: "so you are talking censorship now? don't be ridiculous. if one moron out of a thousand thinks he is cool what are you going to do about it? ban all media reference to him?"

I realize only the latter said what I quoted, but you all speak along the same lines. Here's the problem: this book has already hit Amazon.co.jp's No.1, from what I heard, and that means people can read it freely, INCLUDING those that will be on his jury! So, proudnippon, if one of those jury members ends up someone who thinks he's 'cool' or sympathizes with him because of the book, that could mean the guy gets a lighter sentence on the murder because he SWAYED THEIR OPINION. It should never have been allowed to be published before his trial. If they read it after an objective trial and THEN someone thought he was cool or sympathized with him after reading the book, then fine.

If the Brazilian who kidnapped and killed the Japanese little girl and left her body in a box a couple years back wrote a book about his troubles and woes and how he didn't want to kill her or what not, you think it would be picked up and published before he was put on trial? I'm sure some people are disgusted even by the question.

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I read the many reviews of the book on amazon which were enough to get a good idea of the contents. Several of the comments were from people familiar with the pretrial detention system and the lay judge system that pointed out that everything detainees write is censored, and so he almost certainly was not allowed to publish anything that had a bearing on his case. So yes, if he wants to publish his completely fictional, completely self-serving account of what he wishes he life was like, then let him. It is apparently a terrible book, and once the freak show appeal of it wears off, I'm sure everyone will forget about it.

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So I guess you yes folks wud have no problem is this scumbag cud pay for billboards to spread his gospel, or how about making his own infomercial & have it played on tv................

So folks but yr thinking on this one is totally wrong. I guess in yr world if charles manson just did his thing now you wud be cool with him writing & selling a book before trial, no way! They wud never be able to pick a jury if they did, think a bit, people locked up awaiting trial dont have the same rights as those who are free, what they are entitled to is a fair trial, that has to happen first before all this non-sense!

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I guess it is safer to write the book first and upon getting arrested to have it relased

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I don't care if the idiot wants tow rite a soppy sob story book, but don't want him to get a lighter sentence because he offered money to his victims family. He should be tried solely for his crimes and his co-operation in custody, not for this.

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I guess all of the "NO" voters do not understand "democracy" in all it's aspects. There are some rights ALL citizens have, regardless of what they have done

Democracy is for the law abiding. He is a self confessed murderer soon to be a convicted murderer and thus he does not have the same rights that law abiding members of society have. He has chosen to live outside of normal society and the benefits we all enjoy are no longer open to him. I don't personally think he has any rights at all, but maybe that is too extreme. I know for an absolute fact he wouldn't get to write and publish a book in the UK...and the UK is the birthplace of modern parliamentary democracy of the kind you you mention.

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The question is vague. Is this question asking what is the law, or what should the law be?

Apparently there is no law preventing him from writing the book. The constitution guarantees him the right to free speech. Based on the law, yes, he should be allowed to write the book.

Should there be a law preventing people from profiting financially by writing about the crimes they commit? Yes, I think there should be.

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If he wants to confess to murder then go ahead. Just as long as he doesn't get a single yen of compensation.

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guess all of the "NO" voters do not understand "democracy" in all it's aspects. There are some rights ALL citizens have, regardless of what they have done (at least until proven guilty of something). We can't shut up somebody "just because I freakin' said so", or "just because I believe it is wrong if he talks"...

You're perfectly correct ... except in this ONE special instance.

"Crime", especially spectacular crimes, is something certain criminals aim to profit from. Some want money, but others seek fame and celebrity.

They shouldn't get it.

I think every jurisdiction in the USA now forbids convicts from making money from films or books about their crimes ... at least so long as they're still in prison or parole.

There are also issues about creating 'celebrity' or personality cults and how that might affect the administration of justice. Bad enough when outsiders do it, but it's a given that a criminals efforts are intended to be purely self-serving.

Even 'democracies' make some exceptions to the usual rights of free speech and other rights when criminal behavior is involved. These individuals have betrayed the very system that sustained them AND their civil rights. As such, they lose certain rights.

This doesn't mean every 'criminal' should lose rights forever ... indeed the USA has expanded the definition of 'felony' so much now and to include much pure trivia that large blocs of the population - mostly poor & 'minority - are ineligible to even vote. Rights should be returned in a systematic fashion once a criminal has "done his time" and been a good boy for a while thereafter.

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I agree on Smith's perspective, it should not be published before the trial. As for any profit from the book it should go to the victim's family.

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As for any profit from the book it should go to the victim's family.

That is his intention with the profits, Hawkers said they don't want it though.

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sarahsuz25: Thank you for the info on how the books are censored, but it begs the question: censored by whom? The people who censor it could just as easily be swayed by what's written, and their decisions on what is appropriate completely biased. As such, it is still completely unbelievable that the book was allowed publication before trial.

There are two ways you can look at the question being asked:

"...should have been allowed to WRITE a book for publication before his trial?" and, "...should have been allowed to write a book for PUBLICATION before his trial?" This will figure into how many vote yes or no.

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smithinjapan.

But WHO has the say when the book gets published, Ichihashi or the publisher.

I would guess the publisher since Ichihashi can't legally profit from it.

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Thank you for the info on how the books are censored, but it begs the question: censored by whom? The people who censor it could just as easily be swayed by what's written, and their decisions on what is appropriate completely biased.

Everything prisoners/detainees write is read, and censored if necessary, by the prison officials, especially when it is something that is meant to go outside the prison walls. I think you'll find this is the case in most prisons in most countries, because you can't have prisoners writing home to ask to have drugs or weapons brought to them, or to have the witnesses in their trials murdered, etc.

I think we'll find, as details come out during and after the trial, that much of the book was made up, either by Ichihashi himself or by his editors at the publishing company. The real story is probably not quite the heartwarming adventure story this book is trying to be. Details that will be evidence in the case, such as who, if anyone, helped him, etc., have not been made public yet and so would not be allowed to be published.

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I think anyone should be able to write whatever they want. Seems overkill and perhaps unlawful to say one cannot write something. Whether or not they are permitted to profit from the publication is another question altogether. But "writing" something for publication? How on earth can a judge constitutionally bar you from doing that?

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My position is that he should be allowed to write it, and a publisher should be allowed to publish it, but that we should make our voices heard that we think nobody should profit off this. Please consider joining the following facebook group which will act as a petition to retailers to stop carrying the book: facebook dot com/home.php?sk=group_150415715013596

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I take "should" to mean he should have been allowed if it was legal, not "if I had been in charge I would have made sure the law didn't allow it".

Keeping this in mind, assuming it was legal, I'm not sure I could disagree with anyone illegally censoring him. As sarahsuz said, there is (apparently) a system to censor some of what the books says in any case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think anyone should be able to write whatever they want. Seems overkill and perhaps unlawful to say one cannot write something. Whether or not they are permitted to profit from the publication is another question altogether. But "writing" something for publication? How on earth can a judge constitutionally bar you from doing that?

Good post.

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hey folks people who are in custody DONT have the same rights as those walking the streets, how hard is this for some of you to get?

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They don't? Which ones do they lose in custody?

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GW.

Not the 'same rights' and 'NO rights' are different things. Too difficult to get for some it seems.

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junama,

I dont let me guess at one, FREEDOM, doh they are in CUSTODY!

Zenny11

How many books or crap to hear about coming from those in custody in say NAmerica, I never hear it happening

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GW, prisoners over there publish books all the time and in fact the ACLU (like it or now) has successfully sued state governments in court to ensure that prisoners continue to get that right. And while prisoners lose certain rights (i.e., the 4th amendment) they most certainly do not lose the entire protection of the 1st Amendment or the 8th (against cruel/unusual punishment). Don't mean stray too far off the subject of Ichihashi, but suffice to say that incrimination does not automatically take away all rights of expression. Heck even an imprisoned MLK wrote the infamous "Letter from Birmingham" 50 years ago...

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combini

you may not have seen all my posts but I was refering to BEFORE trial, sounds like your talking about AFTER trial which I wud have less problem with as the trial wud be done

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Anyone have a copy of it ? preferably the toilet roll tissue edition so that I can be an honest critic . I'd also love to be on the Jury and have a hand in the sentence which I've already decided upon which would include a fatter lower lip , a pair of modified cauliflower ears and a bent out of all proportion nose which will prepare him on his release for good behaviour

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Before trial, the accused is merely the accused. No conviction = not a criminal. In that case they should be allowed to publish to the same extent a free, non-incarcerated person is allowed to.

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ok I respectfully disagree then, I dont think defendents shud be able to unduly influence their trials in advance of those trials, again it shud be common knowledge that those accused(not yet tried) have some rights taken away, for VERY good reasons imo. Can you imagine if they didnt do that especially in the US it wud make an already hard job to try to come up with as unbaised a jury as possible almost impossible if some accused were able to project their views to the public, they can bloody well do that in court where it shud take place not in the theatre of the public.

Sorry, nothing against you man I just dont agree those waiting trial can necessarily do wahtever they want

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Yes he should. He hasn't been found guilty of anything.

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@cmeandu09...agreed, but perhaps any proceeds from book sales should be held until the verdict. The Hawkers should be entitled to the money if he is found guilty.

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He should be able to write whatever he wants.

The question is ... Should people buy his book?

I'd be interested to know what happens to the monies raised from the sales of books by criminals. And, yes I know he hasn't been found guilty.

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He should be able to write whatever he wants. The question is ... Should people buy his book?

Agreed that he should be able to write whatever he wants, but I don't agree with the question. Everyone has the right to a FAIR trial. Ichihashi does, and so do the Hawker family who want justice for Lindsay. By publishing the book before the trial, it opens up the door to unduly influencing a jury, and thus potentially having the jury make their decision on something other than facts as proven in a court of law.

Ichihashi can write whatever he wants in his book with no requirement that it be either true or accurate. And yes, while he doesn't talk about the murder itself, he talks about things related to the case, including his time on the run. This is not a case of violating his right of speech by delaying the publishing until after the trial, but of violating the Hawker family's right to a fair trial by not delaying the publishing.

As for the "he hasn't been found guilty of anything yet" argument, then do those of you who hold to this think it is okay for people on trial to pay for a billboard to be posted outside a courthouse with false information and lies to try to influence the jury as they enter the courthouse? There's not real difference between this and what Ichihashi has done by publishing this book. It is a far better solution to delay the publishing of the book than to potentially remove the right of a fair trial from the Hawker family.

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