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Regarding the March 20 article “Akita woman who killed daughter, boy gets life term“: I was surprised that 3,000 people turned up for the 26 seats available at the trial of the accused, Suzuka Hatakeyama. She was accused of murdering her daughter, and later a young boy from her neighborhood, and was sentenced to life in prison; a sentence with which I concur.

The fact that prosecutors were demanding the death penalty, and perhaps the fact that she is a relatively young woman, might have been expected to engender some kind of morbid, voyeuristic fascination among some elements of the public. But 3,000 people? This suggests disassociation with the fact that a young, probably troubled, woman faced possible death. It was troubling for me that so many smiling faces were waiting to see if they would be “lucky” enough to get a front-row seat at an announcement of state-sanctioned murder.

andrew dunstan