Change of venue denied for Okinawa slaying suspect

News
Kenneth Franklin Gadson has been denied a change-of-venue request by Japan's Supreme Court. The Kadena Air Base worker is charged with murder and rape resulting in death in the slaying of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman. (Screenshot from NNN)
From Stripes.com
Kenneth Franklin Gadson has been denied a change-of-venue request by Japan's Supreme Court. The Kadena Air Base worker is charged with murder and rape resulting in death in the slaying of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman. (Screenshot from NNN)

Change of venue denied for Okinawa slaying suspect

by: Chiyomi Sumida | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 04, 2016

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Japan’s highest court has rejected a U.S. base worker’s request to move his trial on murder and rape charges from Okinawa to Tokyo.

Kenneth Franklin Gadson, 32, submitted the change-of-venue request last month, arguing he could not get a fair trial under the lay judge system – in which three professional judges and six lay judges hear a case – because of strong anti-military sentiments on the tiny island prefecture. Gadson’s attorney, Toshimitsu Takaesu, said extensive media coverage had influenced public opinion.

The Aug. 1 decision by the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court says a fair trial based on laws and evidence is fully guaranteed under the lay judge system, and that there is no reason to fear that impartiality cannot be maintained.

The court also said lay judges are appointed through a procedure that assures fairness and neutrality. A supporting opinion by Supreme Court Judge Katsumi Chiba said lay judges will pursue their duties in a fair manner based on laws and evidence.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.422299

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