Sunday, April 15, 2012

Death Penalty: Japan


Kanae Kijima, from Japan, is sentenced to death after being convicted of killing three men she briefly dated by carbon monoxide poisoning. She would burn charcoal briquettes after giving the men sleeping pills. Two of the men were found dead in a house by carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a common type of suicide in Japan. The other mad was found dead in a rented car also from carbon monoxide fumes from a burning briquette. These men ranged in age from 41 to 80. The unusual factor about this case was her conviction was achieved without direct evidence such as witness testimony or a confession. Only circumstantial evidence was heard by the jury during her court case. The evidence was so convincing that the jury did not need any direct evidence to convict Kanae Kijima to death. The main problem was the faulty defense. Her defense team argued that the two victims that were found dead in a house committed suicide because they were distraught at the idea of her leaving them. This is not only unlikely like also does not explain the third victim. She was tied to all three men because her name was matched to all three on a dating site. She was also proved to have bought sleeping pills and coal briquettes. Lastly, it was proved that she was with all three men right before they died. The court also heard how she wanted to stop them from demanding back money she had taken from them over the course of their brief relationships. Because of all this, the jury convicted her guilty and sentenced her to death after they gave the nick name of “black widow”. "Three times she carried out extremely serious and vicious crimes," presiding Judge Kazuyuki Ohkuma said.

            I am not surprised with the conviction of Kanae Kijima. Although the death penalty is a very hot and controversial topic, I do see justice in this case because Kanae Kijima did kill three men. Her death would justify the killings of the three men. I think that the death penalty could only be justified if the convicted person committed a murder and would be a threat to society if they were not sentenced. The jails are very crowded and for serious criminals, the death penalty could not only give closure to the families of the victims, but also help control the population in the jails. The only part of this case I find a little controversial is how there was no direct evidence. Many cases in history have shown that juries have sentenced an innocent person to time in jail or even death. Direct evidence in this case would help disprove the innocence of Kanae Kijima. Although, this article does make the circumstantial evidence very convincing, only the people in the court room know exactly what was said during the case. The death penalty is only legal is certain states in America. The fate of Kanae Kijima could have potentially been different if she committed these crimes in the United States. 

11 comments:

  1. I agree that the death penalty is a necessary punishment that NEEDS to be used by all states in the US. I does give closure to the victims families and it does help get rid of overcrowding in prisons. This woman does deserve the death penalty. There are worse people in the US that are just sitting in prison having the time of their life because they know they will never go to the lethal injection chamber.

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  2. I do agree the death penalty is required in some cases but one flaw I see with the death penalty is the fact the it takes so long to actually put someone to death because of appeals and such and it also gets expensive for tax payers.

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  3. I thought this case was pretty interesting. At school, we focus a lot on the criminal justice system in America. It was cool to see the workings of a different country's CJ system. It seems that circumstantial and direct evidence are equally compelling in the court systems, as seen in this case and cases in the past. I do not agree, however, that a person can potentially be sentenced to death solely based on circumstantial evidence. Then again, how can justice be served if a criminal is just really good at covering his/her tracks?

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  4. I do agree with the death penalty in this case I think that the women was clearly guilty and a little insane because of what she did to those three men. She clearly killed them and had intent to do so. I know that we don't really know her age but judging by the age of the me that she killed it kind of seems that she might have been after their money. I think that her attorney trying to use the argument, that they committed suicide because they were devastated that she left them, is just pointless and doesn't even make any sense. Why would they ask her for their money back that they gave her if they were so devastated. It doesn't make any sense to me and I think that she was rightfully prosecuted.

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  5. I do agree with the death penalty in this case I think that the women was clearly guilty and a little insane because of what she did to those three men. She clearly killed them and had intent to do so. I know that we don't really know her age but judging by the age of the me that she killed it kind of seems that she might have been after their money. I think that her attorney trying to use the argument, that they committed suicide because they were devastated that she left them, is just pointless and doesn't even make any sense. Why would they ask her for their money back that they gave her if they were so devastated. It doesn't make any sense to me and I think that she was rightfully prosecuted.

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  6. interesting post. I probably would have never heard of this in the papers I read. It's oddly comforting to know there are crazy people all over and not just here in America. If her county sees fit that she should be put to death for killing three men its fine with me. I'm not a fan of death penalty but if someone is a continual threat to society it is in societies best interest to execute them.

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  7. I also did not know about Japan's policy for Death Penalty convictions. Post Helmig speech, this worries me about wrongful conviction potentially happening. But for the majority of the correct ones, i think there is more than enough evidence in this case. Other than a video of her committing the murder, her character points right to being found guilty. Every piece of evidence pointed straight for her, so i think she is guilty as well, but i would like to hear all facts of the case too!

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  8. I believe that she got what she deserved because to me, it seems like she would have killed again and continued to threaten society until she was caught. The death penalty is always a hot topic for debate but the fact of the matter is that it is necessary in some cases and may even deter others from committing some crimes. The death penalty should be used in every state.

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  9. Anytime a woman is put to death it usually involves heinous circumstances. In this case I believe that she does deserve the death penalty. Her crimes seem to be premeditated, calculated, and very cold hearted. I do not believe that in the United States she would have been sentenced to death. She more than likely would be sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The question is whether or not that is wrong. Society likes to believe that women only commit petty crimes such as stealing and that murder is something that we are not capable of. There have been black widow cases like hers but the outcome has not been the death penalty.

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