But experts say that in court, where acquittals are considered harmful to the careers of prosecutors and judges alike, there is a presumption of guilt. In all, 13 men and women, ranging in age from their early 50s to mid-70s, were arrested and indicted. In fact, this method results in a Japanese conviction rate of 99.8 percent (Supreme Court of Japan, 2019, Table 4) and an American conviction rate of 99.6 percent (Motivans, 2019, Table 4). In reality the only way to do this is by obtaining a confession. Another consequence of precision justice is that many cases never see the inside of the courtroom. Are Japanese police really so … Japan’s constitution also states that confessions obtained under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged periods of detention, cannot be admitted as evidence. Global Voices Online brings up another factor in the guilty-until-proven-innocent syndrome — the media: Why do such cases of false accusation occur? It’s always a good thing if there is a demand for more evidence, so this is an improvement. In U.S. federal courts, prose- If these numbers were more widely included within conviction rate statistics, it would paint a very different picture of the Japanese justice system. — A Guide To Hiking Up Tokyo’s Mountainous Region, Why Do Japanese Wear Face Masks? There are a number of unique factors within the Japanese justice system that lead to this consistently high statistic. This finding undermines the popular notion that Japan’s legal culture is incongruous with this democratic institution, and thus augurs well for analogous transitions being made in other East Asian countries with legal traditions similar to that of Japan. The reasoning and impulses which led to a crime must be proved in a court; they are a crucial factor in determining a convicted criminal’s sentence. A few years ago, Nepalese migrant worker Govinda Prasad Mainali came into the news for being released after 15 years in prison for a murder he was later exonerated for. If you purchase through these links we may receive a commission. — The Mask Obsession Explained, How Dangerous Is Japan? The conviction rate of a prosecuting unit of government reflects the likelihood that in that jurisdiction a case that is brought will end in conviction. Why is this so? In order to retain these statistics, cases that are in any way flimsy on evidence are not brought to the courts. JAPANESE CONVICTION RATE 55 cutions (Section II). Why is this so? Police officers: Number of police officers per 100,000 population. In other case Accidental death during custody happens suspiciously often. Many prosecution lawyers advance their careers in the field through their personal positive conviction rates – incentivizing the win even further. So far, lay judges have handed down 17 of them. In some places, they say “you have nothing to fear from the law if you never commit a crime.” In some of the worst places, they say “you have nothing to fear from the law if you never get caught.” But those are not enough on their own here. . “Under Japanese law, you may be arrested and detained without bail for 48 hours by the police on suspicion of having committed a crime. Even if you win a not-guilty verdict, the time stolen from you will never come back. The conviction rate is actually 99.3 percent, but the indictment rate is 37 percent. This is a tactical move designed to stoke outrage in the public about the alleged crimes of the accused. While Japanese detainees are entitled to free legal counsel, their representative cannot be present for questioning. In addition, the personal reputations of prosecution lawyers very much ride on winning their cases. If you want to read more about the saiban-la system, this paper is a great place to start. Don’t bet on it. .] Suspects come under strong pressure to plead guilty, on the premise that confessions are the first step toward rehabilitation. The conviction rate in Japan is unbelievable. Japan is famous for being an extremely ordered country, and so it makes sense in a way that the court system would be very effective. If one person spends their entire life appealing their innocence, they’ll find the walls of justice are incredibly thick. This essentially means that the prosecution is expected to present an airtight case to the courts. How Can You Get A Haircut In Japan? Conviction rates in Japan exceed 99 percent. The Japanese authorities have long relied on confessions to bring suspects to court, instead of building cases based on solid evidence. This collection consists of 33 data files containing information on reported crime, police personnel and budget, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing for over 150 countries. Introduction Conviction rates are high in Japan. “Traditionally, in Japan, confessions have been known as the king of evidence,” said Kenzo Akiyama, a lawyer who is a former judge and has written critically of the criminal justice system. Japanjunky.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The tendency to err towards cases with a near 100% chance of conviction has arguably resulted in a lack of justice for many victims of crime. In 2010, the New York Times reported this: The suspects in a vote-buying case in this small town [Shibushi] in western Japan were subjected to repeated interrogations and, in several instances, months of pre-trial detention. Japan has exceptionally low levels of crime.In 2011, its intentional homicide rate was 0.3 per 100,000 people, while America's rate was 4.7 per 100,000 people. INTERVIEWERHow does Japan’s conviction rate compare to other countries? This difference of roughly 13 percent is … The hope is that a suspect will disclose incriminating information unknown to the detectives, which will then be confirmed by subsequent investigation — thus making the confession all the more convincing, and allaying suspicious that it may have been obtained under duress. Luckily for Cirque du Soleil, who showed an image of the famous “Tank Man” photo during one of their shows in China, they were allowed to continue their show without being detained… so long as they never show such an image ever again. The conviction rate in Japanese criminal trials is 99 percent. Even withstanding this expectation, the conviction rates in Japan are likely to make your jaw drop. Jeff Kingston from Temple University in Tokyo also repeated the phrase that evidence is “the king of evidence.” He says that “If you can get someone to confess to a crime, the court is going to find them guilty.”. That ruling came under criticism, and the Osaka High Court later reduced the sentence to 14 years. The Sixth UNCJS Survey (1995-97) is available from the UNCJIN website. In short, despite Japan’s 99.9% conviction rate, there are aspects of the system that are worthy of admiration, and possibly even emulation, in the West. [. Another example is the career consequences of acquitting cases. With this came the introduction of the current justice system. The conviction rate in Japan is unbelievable. Interrogators have no legal obligation to record their interviews – which leaves room for corruption and violence, although obtaining confession under duress is technically illegal in the Japanese constitution. .] There are a number of unique factors within the Japanese justice system that lead to this consistently high statistic. A trial could be months away and could drag on even longer. A suspect can be held for 48 hours without legal counsel or contact with the outside world. Obviously, this is not a good thing. There has been a gradual rise in the overall crime rate through the years, notably in property crimes. Some reports say 99.8%, others say 99.97%; but it’s clear that it’s above 99%. The system has a conviction rate usually described as 99.9%, but according to a professor at the Doshisha Law School in Kyoto, the conviction rate is around 99.4%. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'japanjunky_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',180,'0','0']));This is for a number of reasons – firstly, Japan is very proud of its high conviction rate. On closer examination, though, we find that the punished judges are not judges who acquitted on the ground that the prosecutors charged the wrong person. Although the Parliament of South Africa attempted to amend and strengthen all sexual violence laws with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act in 2007, the rates of reported rape, sexual abuse of children, and domestic violence have continued to rise. Maybe after you hear some of the more colourful stories of vivid-sounding threats (e.g., not just to yourself, but to your family as well) — not to mention the false convictions despite maintaining innocence — you may be more able to consider what you would do in that situation. In fact, some 60% of accused parties never go to trial. There is arguably less effort to uncover such cases in Japan than in the West — the country’s version of the U.S. When I'm not doing these things, I'm usually thinking about Japan. Now a new film about wrongful arrest by one of Japan’s most respected directors, Masayuki Suo, has just opened to critical acclaim. “I have overheard other prosecutors yelling at suspects and one of my bosses boasted how he kicked the shin of a suspect underneath the desk.”. "It is also seen as a chance given to a suspect to … Several years ago, I heard a lecture from a Canadian lawyer who said an interesting thing about the justice system in the west. In other countries, the state may present cases with a reasonable chance of conviction – whereas in Japan the state will only present cases that are virtually certain of conviction. “My boss was pressuring me to get his confession so I thought I couldn’t go home without it.” For Ichikawa, it didn’t matter if it was true or false as long as he had the confession. The who, what, where and when are not enough: a Japanese judge demands to know why. Rather, they are the judges who acquitted for reasons of statutory or constitutional interpretation, often in politically charged cases. In fact, saiban-in has requested harsher sentences than those originally proposed by the prosecution in some cases. In the capital murder context, there are also tremendous differences between the post-conviction process available to defendants in Japan and the U.S. After trial, a Japanese defendant may appeal his death sentence to an intermediate court and the Supreme Court of Japan. Putting all prosecuted cases in the denominator produces an extremely high conviction rate in … Anecdotally, many argue that Japanese judges remain strongly on the side of the prosecution and that there is a huge pressure on the judges to convict in accordance with these loyalties of old. Conviction rates in Japan exceed 99 percent -- why? It seems that judges are indirectly incentivized to convict in line with the prosecution – if they want their careers to continue to progress, they shouldn’t rock the boat (or in this case, the conviction rates). In this article, we’ll examine just how a conviction rate like this can be nationally established and maintained.eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'japanjunky_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_9',174,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'japanjunky_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_10',174,'0','1'])); Advertisementseval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'japanjunky_com-box-4','ezslot_3',602,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[320,50],'japanjunky_com-box-4','ezslot_4',602,'0','1']));In order to understand phenomena we see within the Japanese justice system, one must first delve into the system’s history. It is common to cite Japan’s 99.9 percent conviction rate as self-evident that something is wrong with its justice system. In Japan, we are not allowed these powers so all we can do is to rely on confessions.” Included in the BBC article is an excerpt from Richard Lloyd Parry’s book “People Who Eat Darkness,” which explains this in greater detail: Unlike a British or American court, where it is only necessary to prove the facts, Japanese courts attach great importance to motive. As of 2015, Japan has 48 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, while Britain has 148 per 100,000, and the USA has 698 per 100,000. With more restrictions on Japanese police insofar as how they can investigate cases than their Western counterparts (such as undercover work), the confession is widely regarded as the “king of evidence”. I. Mr Suo argues that suspects are presumed guilty until proven innocent, and that the odds are stacked massively against them being so proven. Rates are often high, especially when presented in their most general form. 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