Woman lay judge faints after seeing graphic crime scene photo

SAPPORO —

A woman lay judge fainted after viewing graphic crime scene photos during a trial in Sapporo on Tuesday.

The woman is one of six lay judges in the trial of 29-year-old Yasuto Nagatani, who is charged with forcing his way into a pachinko parlor on the evening of Feb 5, then stabbing two employees and stealing 3.65 million yen from a safe.

According to a report in Sports Nippon, graphic photographs of the bloody scene of the crime were displayed on a monitor, following which one of the women jury members fainted and required medical attention. Reports also say that during the trial, jurors were asked to use earphones to listen to recordings of emergency calls made by the victims in stress.

The lay judge system is still a relatively recent development in Japanese legal history. Under the system, six randomly-selected citizens hear cases such as murder together with three professional judges. At the end of the trial, the majority decides the verdict. Unlike jury trials in countries such as the United States and Britain, where judges only determine the sentence, in Japan the sentencing is also done as a group.

Nagatani is due to take the stand today.

Japan Today

  • -1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I hope she was not acting and that they put away this evil criminal, no no not put away, hang him ASAP!!! RIP poor victims

  • -1

    lostrune2

    Hahaha, of course they gonna say this when she's one of those dainty women folk!

  • 10

    Tamarama

    Why does it have to say 'woman judge'? Why not just 'judge'?

  • -1

    spudman

    cause in Japan gender signifies robustness, tenderness and leadership.

  • 1

    GenConsensus

    "If you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen!"

    ...would be an inappropriate thing to say regarding the situation -- but only if you presume that the kitchen is a place for a woman.

  • 0

    CrazyJoe

    Give the lay judges a short lesson in human anatomy before showing such graphic crime images to them.

  • 1

    Farmboy

    Male ir female is irrelevant. They're going to have to have either a better training process or a better screening process. The decision in the case will deeply affect someone's life, and having people who will make the decision who can't properly examine the evidence is irresponsible.

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    and...why is this news?

  • 3

    Farmboy

    and...why is this news?

    Because the lay judge system is new, and some people have strong opinions about it.

  • -6

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Well said bilderberg_2015

  • -3

    Wakarimasen

    She had to lay down.....

  • 0

    kaminarioyaji

    Good; one could argue that people/judges who see these kinds of images all the time may become de-sensitised to them. People should be reminded of the horror of extremely violent crimes in trials such as this in the hope that it will lead to appropriate sentencing in the event of a conviction.

  • -5

    avigator

    Disqualify her from her duty. Or charge her with dereliction of duty.

  • 12

    Ben Jack

    It happens. I just googled 'juror faints' and got a whole lot of hits on a whole lot of incidents of this happening in different countries. It is hardly an indictment against the lay-judge system in Japan. It just shows lay-judges are human beings.

  • 7

    KobeKid

    Ben Jack wins the comment of the thread award!

  • 2

    Aliasis

    I don't envy the lay judge duty. I don't know if you could pay me enough to look at bloody crime photos and listen to victims screaming for help. I guess someone's gotta do it, and kudos to whoever can get through their day doing that.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    How do you know that the defendant in the trial is the actual perpetrator?

    Well, the article never says the victims were KILLED, so maybe they're in court pointing him out.

  • 1

    Ramires Bourguignon Ferreira

    Well said Ben Jack... and if I'm not mistaken, lay judges when are called to duty, they can't refuse except for major impeding reasons... How come you suggest her to be charged for derelection, Mr. avigator? Shame on you for not having humane empathy....

  • 2

    Scooter Ivy

    Unlike jury trials in countries such as the United States and Britain, where judges only determine the sentence, in Japan the sentencing is also done as a group.

    This is not entirely true. In the U.S., or at least in Texas, the defendant chooses whether he wants the judge or jury to set the punishment if convicted. I went threw the jury selection process on Monday but was not selected for the trials.

  • 1

    Scooter Ivy

    "through", not "threw". Nothing was thrown in the proceedings. sheesh

  • 1

    Michael Craig

    Poor lady...

  • -1

    albaleo

    @elbuda

    "not put away, hang him "

    Is that before or after they find him guilty?

  • -3

    gaijinfo

    You'd think they'd filter this kind of thing out. Somebody fainting during a trial might mess up their objectivity a bit. Not just in Japan of course. Can lay judges in Japan beg off a trial because they are weak hearted? I know people who use every excuse in the book to get out of jury trials in the states.

  • -2

    the-grouch

    SO! she faints.....a lot of people faint. They are not on the news everytime they faint. So she is weak. How come she's a judge? Aren't judges supposed to be a lot stronger than that? I mean they are ones responsible for deciding the fate of an accused. They are supposed to look at ALL evidence without this kind of attention. This case is now screwed. She should be taken out of the case and replaced with another. She should take her meds and stay home and be a housewife instead.

  • -6

    Bunosuke

    The-grouch, Is such a sexist comment necessary in a discussion of this sort? What if she isn't married and actually has a career? Some people are very sensitive to shocking material and deserve some sympathy. Is it possible you find pleasure in slash and gore films and other such violent fare and are thus immune to it?

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    She has done her duty as a citizen and as a voter, and has made a significant sacrifice to uphold the body politic.

  • -1

    palanteboricua

    If she can't stomage it, then she should've never been assigned. Doesn't the system screen people by cautioning that detailed raw materials may not be suitable to all viewers??

  • 0

    alliswellinjapan

    Agree with Mirai Hayashi - Why is this news, things like this happen all the time. Men would probably faint too. This becoming news seemingly emphasizing the gender factor only suggests the narrow-minded stereotypical perspective of the reporter (or the media) in my view.

  • -1

    nikku510

    Waste of a news story.

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    I hope this fellows lawyers don't try for a Miss-Trial,that would be my guess !

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