• Chikushino, Fukuoka

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Regarding the Oct. 1 front-page article “Tokyo, Okinawa usher in antigang legislation“: Why is any new legislation needed to combat criminals? Surely, by definition, criminals should be prosecuted because they are criminals. If not, why are the authorities always referring to such groups as organized criminals?

Enacting these new laws is just an admission of defeat. Merely plastering over cracks in the system achieves nothing.

Because they are criminal, “criminal” organizations should not be allowed to exist, and anyone employing criminals should, by association, be considered a criminal. All criminal organizations should be disbanded and their members incarcerated — then and only then should further action be taken, if necessary.

A traditional entwinement of law and gangsterism frequently has been displayed by the pervading moral decay in Japan’s legal system, epitomized recently by the guilty ruling against aides of former Democratic Party of Japan secretary general Ichiro Ozawa. The ruling basically said the aides “seemed” guilty, so they must be guilty. Ozawa and his aides may well be guilty, but there was no firm proof of such. Bending the spirit of the law in this way is worse than any original crime that may or may not have been committed.

Any society that allows such ludicrous judgments into its formal legal system should scrap its legal system altogether, go back to square one, and try to introduce common sense into the process.

The secret coercion of suspects to gain erroneous confessions has been yet another long-standing mark against a justice system that can be more unjust than the crimes it sets out to correct.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

david wood

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