March 10, 2007
CrimProf Akira Itoda Criticizes Judge Who Gave Out Longer Sentence Than Prosecutor Requested
From mainichi.msn.com: Ritsumeikan University CrimProf Akira Itoda criticized Japanese Judge Tetsuya Okuda at the Nara District Court who recently corrected his ruling after a prosecutor pointed out that the sentence handed down was heavier than what prosecutors had demanded.
A legal expert criticized the judge for damaging the public's trust in courts. "It's unprecedented that a judge corrected his ruling after prosecutors pointed out a mistake. It could damage the public's trust in courts," said CrimProf Akira Itoda.
Judge Okuda sentenced a 46-year-old man on Wednesday to 18 months in prison, suspended for four years, over illegal gambling.
After the ruling, Okuda told the defendant in a personal message, "Don't do it again." The man replied, "Thank you very much," and bowed to the judge.
Shortly before Okuda was to declare that the court is adjourned, one of the prosecutors approached the judge and showed him documents where prosecutors had demanded that the defendant be jailed for one year. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]
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