Hi Blog. We have a situation here I’ve been waiting to draw conclusions on for some days now. But here are some articles which substantiate what I’ve been fearing all along. The indication of differing judicial standards for similar crimes based upon nationality.
When a NJ killed a J in 1984 (see the Steve Bellamy Case, where a NJ defending a woman against a drunk and disorderly Japanese wound up killing him with his advanced martial arts skills), he was exonerated, then convicted, then exonerated again for, colloquially, “yarisugi” (and it became a case that changed jurisprudence for kajou bouei in Japan).
Now we have the opposite circumstance–a J killing a NJ–and according to the Japan Times, leniency is expected.
Historically, America had the expression, “he doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance” (the modern-day equivalent of “a snowball’s chance in hell”), showing how bent the American judiciary was towards Asians a century or so ago. In Japan’s judiciary, are we to say, “he doesn’t have a gaijin’s chance”? Mr Yuyu Idubor, convicted for a rape he says he never committed, Mr Valentine, crippled due to police medical negligence during interrogation and completely ignored in court, or Mr Steve McGowan, barred from an Osaka eyeglass store express ‘cos the owner “doesn’t like black people”, again ignored in lower court (tho’ awarded a pittance in High Court), just might.
Here are two articles on the Scott Tucker homicide, one with conclusions, the other with details. The relative silence within the Japanese media on this case is pretty indicative. Contrast that with all the sawagi that would probably ensue if the opposite happened, where a NJ (especially a Beigun) killed a Japanese in this way. Arudou Debito in Sapporo.
(PS: If you want to comment on this case, please do so within the next 24 hours. After that, I’m going to be on the road with the book tour and unable to approve comments promptly.)
Death of American in bar fight likely to draw leniency
Japan Times Thursday, March 13, 2008
By JUN HONGO Staff writer
Courtesy of Colin
The death of an American resident in Tokyo in a fatal bar fight late last month is not likely to result in any severe punishment being meted out due to the circumstances of the case, legal experts say.
Richard “Scott” Tucker, 47, died at Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo Hospital after being punched and choked at Bullets, a nightclub in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, on Feb. 29. Police arrested Atsushi Watanabe, a 29-year-old disc jockey at the club, for the fatal assault.
While some media reports have suggested the West Virginian visited the club to complain about the noise, a police official told The Japan Times on Tuesday that Tucker appeared “heavily drunk and acted violently toward other customers,” at times striking a boxer’s pose, on the night of the incident.
Watanabe has told investigators he attempted to halt the disturbance in his club “because (Tucker) was picking a quarrel with everyone,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Legal experts suggest such circumstances would likely result in Watanabe receiving relatively minor punishment.
Tokyo killing of Charleston native ‘seeded in past events’
Tucker’s brother: Japanese bar’s noise led to fatal fight
The Charleston Gazette March 7, 2008
By Gary Harki Staff writer
A Charleston native killed in a Tokyo bar last weekend went there because he was angry about the noise, his brother said Thursday.
“Based on the information we have, Scott went into the bar with an attitude,” Chip Tucker said. “He was upset with the noise and commotion of what was going on, which was a routine. … He was not there for the party.”
Scott Tucker, 47, a Charleston native and West Virginia University graduate, died in a hospital after being choked and punched at a nightclub called Bullets in the Azabu section of Tokyo on Feb. 29, according to japantoday.com, an English-language news Web site.
Atsushi Watanabe, 29, a disc jockey at the club, is charged with killing Scott Tucker, according to the Web site.
“This was a specialized technique intended to do harm,” Chip Tucker said of how Watanabe allegedly killed his brother. “It’s a murder case. Everything points to that being the situation.”
The club was known for parties, noise and fights, Chip Tucker said. “His wife feels part of [Scott Tucker’s actions] were seeded in past events,” he said.
Tucker had been drinking and recently had developed a drinking problem, his brother said: “We are not sure if he had been home or was coming home when it happened.”
Chip Tucker said that based on Japanese law, the family will seek the maximum penalty for Watanabe. That won’t be determined until Watanabe is formally charged after the investigation has ended, he said.
“They determine punishment not only on a case-by-case basis but on the wishes of the family,” he said.
Some investigation records will be released in about 20 days, when police pull their records together and present the case to a judge, he said.
Tucker said it does not appear that Watanabe, who had no previous criminal record, intended to kill his brother. “It appears as though this was not premeditated, but he used force well beyond what he should have,” he said.
Scott Tucker lived in a building he had bought and – as is Japanese custom – named it after himself, said Chris Mathison, Scott’s former business partner.
Tucker had lived in the downtown Tokyo building, in an upscale section of the city, for at least 12 years, Mathison said. Two doors down was the jewelry studio of Tucker’s wife, Yumiko Yamazaki. Between the buildings was the Bullets club where Tucker was killed.
Mathison said he and Scott Tucker had traveled the world together in the early 1990s, working for various computer companies. The two still talked frequently, he said.
“He was rich. And not only did he do well, his wife is one of Japan’s leading jewelry designers,” Mathison said. “He had this career of closing enormous deals.”
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he remembered the Tucker family when they lived in Charleston in the 1960s, particularly Jean Tucker, Scott and Chip’s mother. He remembered waiting on her when he worked at the Pure Oil station in South Hills, he said.
“They were very nice people. They lived on Oakmont Road,” he said. “I stayed friends with them until I was drafted in 1969.”
Scott Tucker moved to Japan about 24 years ago, shortly after graduating from WVU with a degree in foreign languages and linguistics.
Chip Tucker said he attended a private service for the family at a crematory in Japan on Thursday. He will bring part of his brother’s ashes back to the United States to be spread in San Diego.
On Thursday, he and Yamazaki went to a neighborhood bar frequented by his brother to pick up a picture of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards that he kept there.
“Scott loved music. He had a wide range of tastes,” he said.
There were a few regulars in the bar, Chip Tucker said.
“Everyone came over and showed their condolences to Scott’s wife. They couldn’t believe the situation. They had never seen Scott angry,” he said. “They all showed up at the funeral. They were overwhelmed.
“They had never seen Scott get in a fight. They couldn’t believe it.”