Rape-murder suspect wants trial moved to Tokyo

Toshimitsu Takaesu, the lawyer for Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, who is being held on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 20-year-old Okinawan girl in May, has submitted a written request to Naha District Court demanding that the trial be moved from Naha to Tokyo, because his client insists that he can’t get a fair trial in Okinawa.

Shinzato is scheduled to face the charges in the Naha District Court under Japan’s lay judge system, but according to his lawyer, he demands that the trial be moved to the Tokyo District Court, because the media in Okinawa has infected Okinawan residents with negative feelings “entrenched by animosity.” The lay judges (jury) for the trial would be selected from local residents.

The written request noted that the media on Okinawa has published details about Shinzato’s confession and disclosed details of physical evidence, which causes most local residents and potential jurors to have an advance opinion of the case. The letter also refers to resolutions passed by the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly and several municipal assemblies protesting the crimes committed by Shinzato.

The Supreme Court says there has not been a request to change jurisdiction under the joint judge-jury system before, and if accepted, this would be the first case ever, and likely to set a precedent.

  • Lyn

    Sorry Gadson (aka Shinzato), when you commit a crime in Texas, you have to ‘face the music’ in Texas–that is the way the justice system works–request for a change of venue is DENIED.

    Japan is made up of 47 states called prefectures–just as the United States is made up of 50 states. You do not get to commit a crime in Texas, then ask for a change of venue to New York, or another state, in the hopes someone more liberal will decide a fate more to your liking. I hope the same will ring true here in Japan. After all, you have inconvenienced Rina Shimabukuro’s family and friends–and the rest of us that feel their pain–enough already by assaulting, raping, and murdering her, then stuffing her in a suitcase and throwing her away by the side of the road like yesterday’s garbage, and then going on about your life as if nothing had happened! Why should these people be inconvenienced further by having to shuttle back and forth between Okinawa and Tokyo for your trial, just so you can “maybe” benefit? You have already deprived them of their loved one and the joy, hope, and sunshine she brought into their lives–isn’t that enough for you?

    What possible defense will you have anyway? What part of your defense do you think might sway a judge/jury to spare your life or otherwise be lenient? The part where you drove around for 2-3 hours looking for a suitable victim; the part where you snuck up behind her and violently struck her from behind to diminish her ability to resist your attack; the part where you brutally raped her; the part where you had previously put a knife in your car and subsequently used it to viciously stab her multiple times; the part where you had previously placed a suitcase in your car to be used to stuff her body in, so you could then transport her in your car without leaving her DNA and ultimately and uncaringly dump her by the side of some secluded roadway; or is there some other detail not yet disclosed in the news?

    Everything about you and your actions screams “PREMEDITATED MURDERER”! You should be judged right here in Okinawa by the Okinawan people. You should then be found guilty and executed promptly, for your heinous crime against this innocent young woman!

  • SonKokujin

    …. and people in Hell want ice water. Face the music, Gadson. I’m not even going to call you an ex-marine, because you no longer deserve to be called a marine by any sense of the word. You’re obviously forgotten everything the Marine Corps has taught you. And because of that, now we all have to pay for your stupidity. If you’re not executed here in Japan, in which case that means that someone was extremely lenient for you,then may you rot out the rest of your existence in a Japanese prison.

08:40 17 Apr , 2024