Double Jeopardy

逆転有罪 (Gyakuten Yūzai)



Innocence Overturned: Defendants who were found not guilty in district courts and later convicted by higher courts.





Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges



Hirosaki University

1949/08/26

Aomori

Nasu (Takashi?)


Murder


Summary


The defendant was charged with murdering the wife of a university professor.




Court Chronology


District Court        1951/01/12 Not Guilty


High Court            1952/05/31 Guilty 15 years.


Supreme Court     1953/02/19 Appeal is rejected


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


1963 Paroled


1971 Real culprit comes forward.


1974 Sendai High Court refuses retrial.


1976 Separate high court bench opens retrial


1977/02/15  Not Guilty Sendai High Court



Later Actions


1963 Defendant is paroled. 1971 Real criminal comes forward. Retrial is requested 1974 Sendai High Court refuses retrial. 76/07/13 Same court agrees to retrial. 77/02/15  Not guilty

State Redress Suit (Civil Court) 81/04 Aomori Plaintiff (Nasu) wins partial victory. Sendai H. C. 86/11 Overturned, redress denied. Supreme Court 90/07 Appeal rejected. Redress denied.






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Yakai

八海

1951/1/24


four people

Murder, Robbery



Summary





Court Chronology


District Court    1952/06/02  One defendant sentenced to death, three to life imprisonment.



High Court         1953/9/18  Defendant's appeal is rejected



Supreme Court  1957/10/5 Disagrees with lower court decisions. Orders retrial in high court.  



Later Actions


Four rulings

1959  High Court Not Guilty

1962 Not Guilty decision is overturned. Remanded to the High Court

1965  High Court Guilty

1968 Supreme Court Not Guilty


Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Incident

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Sunagawa

1957 Sep




Summary


1955: Riots occur to prevent the enlargement of a US base. Nearly 1000 people are injured, 23 are arrested, 7 are prosecuted. In 1959, Tokyo District Court Judge Dahte rules the bases violate the constitution. After direct appeal to the Supreme Court,  the US ambassador secretly negotiatied with various Ministries and the Supreme Court. The decision was overturned and the defendant’s were found guilty. 



Court Chronology


District Court   1959/March   Not guilty


High Court



Supreme Court  1959 December. The earlier decision is overturned and remanded to the district court. 



Later Actions

1960 Jan: US-Japan Security treaty is signed.

1960 Jun  US-Japan Security treaty is ratified by the Diet.

1961 March Defendants are found guilty and fined 2000 yen.






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Nabari

名張

61/03/28

Mie

Nabari City

Arrested  61/04/02

Masaru Okunishi 35

Murder x 5

~~~~~


Yes


Summary


 Five women died at a town meeting afterdrinking wine laced with poison. The investigation focussed on those in possession of the wine that day, was narrowed to three people. The key suspect became thirty five year old Masaru Okunishi. Of the five women who perished, one was his wife and another was a lover. A great tragedy of Japanese justice, Okunishi was found not guilty in his first trial, guilty in the second.




Court Chronology


District Court  1964/12/23 Not Guilty



High Court  69/09/10 Death 



Supreme Court  1972/06/15   

Confirmed



Later Actions


73/04/15 First Request for retrial is filed.

2002  7th request for retrial is filed.

2005/04/05 Request for retrial is granted. Prosecution files objection.

2006/12/26 Prosecution’s objection is granted, retrial is revoked.



Defendant Currently Housed at




Currently on death row in the Nagoya Detention Center.



Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Kabutoyama

甲山

Hyogo

1974


Etsuko Yamada (F 24)

Kiyoshi Araki (M  )

Yuko Tada (F)


Yamada: Murder

Araki: Perjury

Tada: Perjury

~~~

Yamada-yes, after 13 days of interrogation.



Summary


Two children, a boy and girl, both aged twelve, went missing from the Kabutoyama Institute, a school for retarded children and young adults. The bodies were later retrieved from a septic tank. Etsuko Yamada, a nurse, was arrested, but not charged with murder. She then sued the police and was vengefully rearrested. This marathon case took 25 years.



Court Chronology


District Court  1985/10/17   Not Guilty  ( Kobe DC)



High Court  90/03/23  Osaka Not Guilty. Decision is overturned. Remanded to District Court.



Supreme Court  92/04/07  Defense's appeal against the remand is refused



Later Actions

98/03/24  Kobe District Court Not Guilty

99/09/29  Osaka High Court  Not Guilty

Prosecution's appeal is rejected. Innocence is confirmed.




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Osaka Child Kidnapping and Murder Case.

大阪の児童誘拐殺人 

(勉ちゃん誘拐殺人)

Osaka


1982/03/19



Nozaki Noboru

野崎登

b. 1922

Kidnapping and Murder

~~~~

Yes.


Summary


A seven year old child's naked and stabbed corpse was found some 17 days after being reported missing. The district court found the evidence to be circumstantial and the confession to be inaccurate. The high court reversed and the defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment.



Court Chronology


District Court   1988/04/26  Not Guilty



High Court      1991/09/26    Life Imprisonment




Supreme Court   Unknown


Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges



Geihinkan/Yokota  Saiban

迎賓館・横田裁判 

(aka: Bakutori 4 爆取人)

86/04/15

86/05/04

Tokyo

Taketoshi Suga 

Hirofumi Sogame

Hiroshi Itagaki*

Manufacture and firing of explosives


Summary


The three were arrested for manufacturing and launching mortar rounds at Yokota Air Base and the Tokyo State Guest House during a meeting of leaders of developed nations. Though a finding of guilty would result in a sentence of 8 years, the three were incarcerated from Nov 1987 until being freed on  bail in December 2002, in excess of 15 years.


Court Chronology


District Court    04/03/26 Tokyo  Not Guilty. Prosecution appeals.  


High Court    06/01/16 Trial opens and closes the same day. 

06/05/19 Judge criticizes lower court decision, and remands the case.       


Supreme Court  2007/10/18 SC upholds HC decision.    



Later Actions




Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges



Fukui Female Middle School Killing

1986

Fukui

 Maekawa Shoji

Murder

(+other charges)


Summary





Court Chronology


District Court    90/09/26  Not Guilty  


High Court        95/02/09   Not Guilty decision is overturned. Sentenced to 7 years.   


Supreme Court   97/11/12  Appeal Rejected. Sentence Confirmed



Later Actions





Case Name

Location

Date of Incident

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Hoshino

1988/12/08

 Hoshino (Masami?)


obscenity

~~~~

?


Summary





Court Chronology


District Court  90/03/27   7 months at labor



High Court        91/03/26 Not Guilty



Supreme Court  94/12/22  Not Guilty decision is overturned. 

                                             Case is remanded to the High Court.



Later Actions


96/05/16  Guilty Nagoya High Court

99/03/23   Confirmed. Supreme Court.


Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Incident

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges



Govinda

Tokyo

97/03/19


Govinda Prasad Mainali

Nepali citizen

Murder, Robbery


Summary


Nepali Govinda was arrested for the strangulation of a female executive of the Tokyo Power and Electic Company, a high profile case. Govinda admitted to having sex with the woman but denies the murder. The short span of eight months between District Court and High Court decisions was unduly abnormal for a Japanese court.



Court Chronology


District Court      00/04/14   Not Guilty


High Court           00/12/22   Guilty  Life Imprisonment


Supreme Court    03/10/20   Sentence  is confirmed.

                            



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges



Attorney Yasuda

Tokyo

1997


Yasuda Yoshihiro

Obstructing the return of financial assets to the government

Summary

Yasuda, outspoken human rights attorney and  anti-death penalty advocate, was leading the legal team defending the Aum Shinrikyo religous cult. . He was arrested for obstructing the transfer of funds from a failed real estate company to the state. His incarceration for 300 days has been severely criticized as  political vindictiveness.


Court Chronology


District Court      2003/12/25  Not Guilty


High Court          2008/04/23  Guilty Fined 500,000 yen ($5000)


Supreme Court Confirmed




Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Tokunaga

2000/June

Tokunaga Robert

Brazilian National

Excessive injury resulting in death


Summary


Brazilian Roberto Tokunaga was tried for causing excessive injury resulting in death to his 3 year old daughter. The prosecution appealed and Tokunaga was reincarcerated on 01/10/17 at the start of his second trial. (Reincareration is mostly applied to foreigners)



Court Chronology


District Court   01/05/24 Not Guilty 

Nagano District Court



High Court 02/07/08 Guilty 

Tokyo High Court




Supreme Court 02/11/25 Confirmed.



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Moraga

2001 August

Tokyo

Nagano

Alejandro Moraga-Reyes

Chilean Citizen

Theft

~~~~


Summary


Chilean Alejandro Moraga Reyes, was accused of abetting and participating in the theft of a necklace and then a car. The court found that no necklace was stolen, and that Moraga was not complicit in stealing an automobile. The prosecution appealed and Moraga was reincarcerated on 03/05/29. (Reincareration is mostly applied to foreigners)




Court Chronology


District Court  03/05/29   Not Guilty Suwa Summary Court



High Court Currently being appealed.



Supreme Court



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Mito Child Drowning Case

2002


Tanabe Masaki

b. 1972

Kidnapping and Murder of a 22 year old boy

~~~~

Yes


Summary


Prosecutors allege that Tanabe became angered by the boy's crying while trying to sleep in his minivan in Toyokawa city, Aichi prefecture.. He abducted, transported, and then hurled the boy into the sea from a pier in Mito city. In the absence of material evidence, the district court found the confession unreliable. 




Court Chronology


District Court     2006/01/25  Not Guilty


High Court         2007/07/06  17 years


Supreme Court



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at



Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Kobe Pawnshop

Hyogo

2005/October

Ogata Hidehiko

Murder and Robbery of a Pawnshop Owner

~~~

Yes


Summary




Court Chronology


District Court   2008/07/01  Not Guilty


High Court       2009/09/24   Guilty  Life Imprisonment


Supreme Court  Pending



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at



Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Hyogo Self-defense Case

Amagasaki, Hyogo

2005/07/_ _

2 men aged 18 and 17 at the time of the crime.

Battery resulting in death.


Summary


The defendant, along with another two others aged 20 and 19, were charged with the beating death of a  37 year old truck driver in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in July 2005. 





Court Chronology


District Court  Not Guilty



High Court  2007/12/20 Earlier verdict is scrapped, remanded to district court for a retrial. 



Supreme Court



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Hirui Case

November 2008




Hirui Naotake


Possesion of stimulant drugs


Summary


The defendant was originally declared not guilty for procedural reason-not being able to appoint a defense attorney. The high court reversed 





Court Chronology


Tokyo District Court  Not Guilty



Tokyo High Court  2010/06/07  Earlier verdict is scrapped, sentence of two years and ten months is instituted.



Supreme Court



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at






Case Name

Location

Date of Incident

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Oike Double Jeopardy

Osaka

2007/5/5



Oike Osamu

尾池治

Arson, Murder x 3


Summary


In the first trial, the judge found the DVD confession to be unreliable, and that there are other suspects.  



Court Chronology


District Court  2011/Feb/16      Not Guilty



High Court     2011/Feb/23     Guilty  17 Years



Supreme Court



Later Actions







Case Name

Location

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Haga Case




Haga Kenji

b. 1961

Watanabe Jiro

b. 1955


Fraud/Blackmail

~~~~

No


Summary





Court Chronology


District Court Osaka     2008/11/28 Not Guilty 



High Court   Osaka       2011/Jun/17  Haga: Guilty 6 Years.

                                                            Watanabe     2 Years



Supreme Court



Later Actions







Case Name

Location

Date of Incident

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Anzai Case

b. 1951


Anzai Kikuo

Importing Stimulant Drugs from Malaysia


Summary


First aquittal under the newly implemented mixed jury system. Anzai, a company executive, assumed he was transporting a souvenir. The item in question contained drugs.



Court Chronology


District Court (Chiba) 2010/Jun/23 Not Guilty - Mixed Jury System



High Court      (Tokyo) 2011/Mar/30  Guilty Sentenced to 10 years



Supreme Court



Later Actions












Leafletting Cases





Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?



Tachikawa Leaflet Case

2004


Onishi Shouhei + 2 others

Illegal Entry

Trespassing


Summary


Three activists passed out leaflets at a Self-Defense forces housing complex protesting the use of Self Defense forces in Iraq . 41 days later, they were arrested . Despite the triviality of the charge, the defendants were confined for 75 days. 



Court Chronology


District Court  2004/12/16 Not guilty


High Court      2005/12/09 Decision reversed: guilty. Defendants were fined: 100,000 yen  (x2) and    200,000 yen  (x1).


Supreme Court  2008/04/12 Guilty Conviction is Confirmed.





Later Actions



Case Name

Location

Date of Crime

Date of Arrest


Defendant's Name(s)

(Family  First)

F=female


Charges

~~~~

Confessed?


Arakawa Leaflet Case

Tokyo

2004/12/23


Arakawa Yosei

Trespassing

~~~~~~



Summary





Court Chronology


District Court 2006/11/28 Not Guilty




High Court      2007/12/11 Guilty



Supreme Court  2009  Guilty decision is confirmed.



Later Actions




Defendant Currently Housed at