Insanity and Judicial Psychiatry

Katsuki Ryo-mentally handicapped defendant framed by police

"No Insanity on Japan's death row." (2012/01/03)

Death penalty sought for man accused of killing 7 relatives.

Defendant Fujishiro Yasutaka will be sentenced on May 29, 2009

19-year-old gets life for killing mother, two siblings in Aomori.

Court ignores defense counsel's call for psychiatric internment.

Mentally impaired man files for criminal indemnity for 11 months of wrongful incarceration.
Gave confession in arson case after fed details by police. (2011) (

Tsukiyama Sakae: Killed two other mentally impaired people and injured a third. ( More )

Insanity Cases

Prosecutors appeal man's insanity acquittal over murder of parents, sister

MITO -- Prosecutors have appealed a district court ruling that acquitted a man accused of murdering his parents and sister after deeming he was insane at the time of the crime.

The Mito District Public Prosecutors Office filed the appeal with the Tokyo High Court, claiming that the 31-year-old defendant from Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, can be fully responsible for the crime.

On June 27, the Tsuchiura branch of the Mito District Court found the man not guilty to murdering his 57-year-old father, 54-year-old mother and 31-year-old sister with a kitchen knife and a hammer at their home in November 2004. Prosecutors had demanded that he be hanged.

From the USA

2011 The high price of Oregon's insanity plea: Patients sent to the state mental hospital cost millions

High court says mentally disabled woman has capacity to file accusation over molestation
(Mainichi Japan) December 21, 2010


Osaka prosecutor punished for ordering alibi deleted from police report
(Mainichi Japan) December 22, 2010 (Defendant is mentally challenged)
More )


¥1 Million in Consolation

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Utsunomiya District Public Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday that it will accept a ruling that awarded ¥1 million in consolation money to a mentally disabled man who was wrongly arrested for robbery.

The man submitted a petition to police the same day through his supporters, demanding punitive measures against the police officers involved, a re-examination of the case and an apology.

"We wrongly believed . . . that his confession was trustworthy. We could have doubted his confession if we had investigated the case carefully," said Noboru Watanabe, deputy chief prosecutor.

See also Blatant, erroneous forced confession slammed


Teenage boy with developmental disorder acquitted of molesting girl

Confession Ruled Unreliable

(Mainichi Snimbun, Japan, Jan. 25, 2005)

OSAKA -- An appeal court has acquitted a teenage boy with a serious developmental disorder of molesting and injuring a girl.

Dismissing an appeal by prosecutors, the Osaka High Court upheld a Nara Family Court decision in a juvenile trial that ruled the 16-year-old high school student can walk free because his confessions cannot be trusted.

"His unusual behavior during questioning can't be overlooked. There are some questions about the reliability of the confessions he made during questioning," Presiding Judge Yoshimichi Takigawa said as he handed down the decision.

The boy, whose name is being withheld under the Juvenile Law, was arrested in late May last year on suspicion of indecent assault for molesting a junior high school girl who was on her way home from school in Nara Prefecture earlier in the month.

He initially denied the allegations, and remained almost silent during questioning because he was almost unable to talk to unacquainted people because of his disability.

However, the boy wrote down that he assaulted the girl while on his way home from school, and signed a disposition. After being referred to the family court for his juvenile trial, he denied the allegations again.

The family court acquitted the boy after concluding that statements made by an eyewitness and his confessions are too vague and inconsistent to be trusted.

After prosecutors appealed the decision to the high court, a hospital diagnosed the boy as suffering a serious developmental disorder. His defense lawyer then submitted to the court a doctor's diagnosis of his condition.

The appeal court pointed to discrepancies between the boy's written confessions and the crime described in police documents, and cited a testimony by an acquaintance that he was at home only 10 minutes before he was supposed to have committed the crime.

It then determined that there is room for questioning the reliability of the boy's confessions, and pointed out that the witness may have had an illusion that the assailant looked like the boy.

The presiding judge also criticized investigators for allowing the victim to see only the boy during investigations. "The method of investigation should have been avoided because it could have led her to falsely believe that the boy was the assailant."

An expert on developmental disorders called for caution in questioning those with such a handicap.

"Children with serious developmental disorders tend to reply, 'yes,' to any question asked by adults. Law enforcers should not easily conclude that suspects committed a crime because they confessed to it and signed a disposition," said Osaka University of Education Professor Emeritus Keiichi Takeda.

"Investigators should carefully question suspects with such disabilities while fully understanding the developmental disorder," he added. (Mainichi Snimbun, Japan, Jan. 25, 2005)