None, he slipped
April 30, 2004 12:22 PM   Subscribe

"High court says man shot himself during interrogation".
In reversing the lower court decision, presiding Judge Toshinobu Akiyama of the high court said it was technically possible for Yanagi to snatch a bullet from a plastic bag placed on a table as evidence, when the two interrogators were not looking.
And yet, there might actually be an argument here. As seen in the Fark thread that followed their initial posting of this Japanese case, Alexander Jason (a forensic analyst) completed a rather detailed analysis and found the scene at least not incompatible with the suicide theory. This Alexander guy's quite interesting -- have to respect a guy whose home page opens up with a gun pointing at a mannequin's head (full research paper here, not entirely safe on a full stomach).
posted by effugas (5 comments total)
Interesting. I had read the original story fark linked to and it's nice to see a followup.

Anyone really believe this guy killed himself? Japan has a reputation for a pretty brutal justice system, being one of the few first world nations that still has the death penalty.
posted by bobo123 at 2:49 PM on April 30, 2004

Nice effugas, thanks. I read through every article on the Jason guy's site, they were pretty interesting. However, why in the world aren't interrogations in Japan required to be taped?
posted by kavasa at 4:12 PM on April 30, 2004

How then would the police be able to shoot suspects and call it suicide?

Think, man. Think. ;-)
posted by spazzm at 6:43 PM on April 30, 2004

why in the world aren't interrogations in Japan required to be taped?

The problem is that forced confessions are a standard part of Japan's justice system and one of the key factors in the very high conviction rate in this country. There is actually a tremendous amount of ongoing discussion, and many horror stories, on the topic of the Japanese judicial system and this is probably well deserving of a separate MeFi thread if someone knowledgable could summarize the situation and provide some good links.
posted by Meridian at 6:49 PM on April 30, 2004

That dude's site is wicked/bizarre. Good find.
posted by chunking express at 10:52 PM on April 30, 2004

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