Thought I would mix things up a bit and post a story from Japan where a 15-year-old girl murdered and decapitated her classmate in her bedroom.
Police responded to an apartment in Sasebo after the parents of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuko called to report their daughter had texted to say she was visiting a friend, but never returned after later texting she was on her way home.
When police arrived at the apartment where Matsuko had visited, they found her decapitated body lying on a bed in her friend’s blood-soaked bedroom. Her unidentified friend, also 15, admitted she’d repeatedly struck Matsuo on the back of the head with a blunt instrument before strangling her with a cord.
She then used a large knife to cut off the girl’s head and her left hand. The motive? She allegedly stated she had “wanted to dissect” someone. Police say the accused lived alone in the apartment and do not suspect anyone else was involved in Matsuko’s murder.
Sasebo is is the same fishing village where 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai was stabbed to death by an 11-year-old female classmate in 2004. The accused admitted to slitting Mitarai’s throat in an empty classroom after arguing over a message Mitarai had left about her on the Internet.
I’m not exactly sure what the statistics are for juvenile crimes of this nature in Japan, but the people there have long been calling for some changes be made to the way they handle juveniles who commit heinous crimes such as this. Generally, lawmakers emphasize rehabilitation over punishment, treating teenage offenders as wayward rather than evil.
Personally, I think the recent juvenile punishment reforms in Japan are the result of knee-jerk reactions caused by media hype and public outrage, as crimes like this are not common in Japan. In 2011 it was reported the juvenile arrest rate in Japan was 13 per 1,000 people, with vicious crimes accounting for only 1% of these.
As evident by the comments left on our own news articles involving juvenile offenders, Americans seem to have an opposite attitude than Japan – often hoping kids are ass-raped in prison as punishment for their crimes instead of trying to get at the real root of the problem.
I felt the same at one time, but after a decade of writing these stories I have come to the conclusion that, when talking about juvenile offenders, rehabilitation is more important than satisfying the public’s demand for an anus for an eye.
I know a lot won’t agree with me, but it just makes sense that society fairs better having a juvenile offender released as a productive member of society, not an ass-raped criminal. But, whatever.